North Korea has been testing its missiles on a regular basis, and it has compelled one of the airlines to reroute its Commercial Flights in the region. Singapore Airlines has taken this action for its daily flights to Los Angeles following the missile launch in July.

CNN reports that the crew of Cathay Pacific and Korean Air have seen what appeared to be airborne missiles probably being tested by North Korea. On November 29, the crew of Cathay Pacific flight saw a flash and assumed it to be a missile re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. The flight was on its way from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

The crew of Korean Air had a similar experience when pilots of two flights going to Seoul, reported seeing a flash which they presumed to be from a missile because of the timing.

A threat to civil aviation

The activities of North Korea are posing a threat to civilians. The country keeps testing its missiles and announces improvements in their performances. Its intention is to nuke the United States, and its leader Kim Jong-un has identified a few probable targets. The latest ICBM had attained a height of nearly 2800 miles before it splashed down near the west coast of Japan. Earlier, North Korea sent two missiles flying over Japan.

However, the sighting of missiles in the air by the crew of commercial flights is a matter of concern for the airlines, and they have been forced to consider rerouting of their flights to avoid any unpleasant incident.

Prior information to be given

Singapore Airlines had rerouted its flight in July based on a report of an Air France flight that had passed near the region within a few minutes after the splashdown of a missile from North Korea. Obviously, such actions in a busy airspace could pose dangers to commercial flights.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is responsible for governing air safety.

It has already issued guidelines in the past on the subject. These require issuing of suitable advisories to pilots who operate in its airspace to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft. However, there are doubts on whether North Korea adheres to these basic norms of safety.

In the opinion of experts, the possibilities of a missile colliding with an aircraft in flight are remote but it is better to be safe than sorry.

North Korea continues to pursue the development of nuclear weapons, and the global community has imposed sanctions on the country. The regime must realize that launching missiles without prior information could jeopardize the safety of commercial flights, and must provide advance notification about such exercises.