World Bulletin / News Desk
A North Korean ballistic missile was seen by the crew of several airliners last week, aviation authorities said Wednesday, raising concerns about the threat to civilian flights posed by Pyongyang's unannounced tests.
Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last week, which reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometres (2,780 miles) before splashing into the sea 950 kilometres (590 miles) east of its launch site, North Korean state media said.
"A Korean Air jet flying to Incheon from San Francisco reported to Japanese controllers that its flight crew saw a flash from what was believed to be the North Korean missile," a Korean Air spokesman told AFP.
Four minutes later another Korean Air plane on a Los Angeles-Incheon flight also reported the same sighting to Japanese control, he said.
A South Korean transportation ministry official, who wanted to remain unnamed, said the flight paths of both Korean airlines were some 220 kilometres (140 miles) away from where the missile landed.
"In the clean dark sky, you can see flashes from a missile from that long distance," he told AFP.
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