After the missile reached its zenith some 2,780 miles (4,475 km) above Earth-over ten times higher than the International Space Station-it came down in a blaze, which a senior Cathay Pacific executive said was observed by the flight crew, according to the South China Morning Post.
A Cathay Pacific flight crew reportedly witnessed North Korea's latest missile test last Wednesday, the airline announced today.
The AP reported the missile was in the air for almost an hour and reached an altitude of 2,780 miles before plummeting into the Sea of Japan about 600 miles from its launch point.
"Currently, our flight routings do not transverse in the vicinity of the missile trajectory as we have taken earlier steps to avoid the northern part of the Sea of Japan".
Since the North Korea regime does not announce its missiles tests and does not have access to global civil aviation data, the launches come without warning for commercial airliners and pose a potential risk to planes, the BBC News noted.More news: Herm Edwards' first news conference at Arizona State didn't disappoint
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According to Mark Hoey, Cathay Pacific's general manager of operations, the message from the passenger plane crew to the staff on ground after the November test was: "Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location", the South China Morning Post reported. "We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves".
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October condemned North Korea for the repeated launching of ballistic missiles, saying they seriously threatened the safety of international civil aviation.
A plane takes off near the control tower at San Francisco International Airport on February 25, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.
The flight crew's description of the missile breaking up during re-entry suggests the regime's nuclear weapon program still has not yet developed that vehicle, though the regime itself has claimed it has completed its "state nuclear force".
After last week's launch, the rogue state boasted that the weapon was capable of hitting the USA mainland.
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday on "Face the Nation" that preemptive war in North Korea is "becoming more likely" as the country's improving missile technology presents an increasing threat.
The airline said at the time that it was expanding its no-fly zone over North Korea following the close-call.