According to recent reports, the crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane last week were witness to the suspected missile test conducted by North Korea.
The alleged event occurred on November 29 when Japanese authorities first picked up on suspicious radio signals originating from North Korea. Similar suspicions were raised by others such as the U.S. and South Korea.
At the time, there was no concrete proof that the country had indeed indulged in another round of missile tests. However, the recent statements made by the crew members has led authorities to believe that their suspicions were valid.
Speaking of the event to the BBC, the crew stated that they witnessed what appeared to be “the re-entry” of the missile into the earth’s atmosphere.
In a statement made to his staff Mark Hoey stated, “Today, the crew of CX893 reported, ‘Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location”.
The launch was also reported by two South Korean aircrafts making their way from the U.S. to Seoul.
Since North Korea is secretive about its missile tests, it does not issue warnings to flights traversing the routes creating hazardous conditions for air travel. However, Pyongyang has access to international civilian air data and can track the flight schedule accordingly.
The missile in question is likely to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile. In the past, North Korea has boasted that this missile can easily traverse the entire geographical landscape of the United States.
The test-launch has raised the hackles of both the U.S. and South Korea. On Monday, the countries began their largest joint air exercise to date. North Korea has termed the exercise an “all-out provocation”.
In the past Pyongyang has described this weapon as its “most powerful” missile and although the missile ended up in Japanese waters, it certainly flew higher than any other missile tested by North Korea.