North Korea Missile Launch Photos Tampered With, Scientist Says

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Singapore Airlines (SINGF) said its flights don't travel "in the vicinity of the missile trajectory" because of the route change it made to avoid the northern part of the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. It hadn't previously announced the changes before this week.

North Korea said last week it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile yet, which was capable of reaching the United States.

"At dawn, North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile to the East from the environs of Pyongyang", according to the chiefs of staff of South Korea. Pyongyang said the projectile flew as high as 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles) before plummeting down into waters off the western coast of Japan.

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Four minutes later another Korean Air plane on a Los Angeles-Incheon flight also reported the same sighting to Japanese control, he said.

The missile was far from the plane, and operation was unaffected, Cathay said, adding that it had informed other carriers and relevant authorities.

The closest shave was on Nov 29, where crew on at least three commercial flights from Korean Air and Cathay Pacific reportedly saw the North Korean missile in the air before it blew up near their location.

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"We do take the matter seriously and are monitoring the situation very closely and will reroute our flight paths where necessary", a Cathay Pacific spokesperson added.

The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization states that nations have a "responsibility to issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace". Prior to last week's ballistic missile launch, the US spotted North Korea's military making preparations.

North Korea routinely fails to follow that rule and has ignored several letters from the ICAO urging it to inform airline officials of its plan to launch missiles.

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Travelers who are concerned should know the chances of an airplane colliding with a missile are extremely low: One safety analyst estimates that it is less than a billion to one.

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