Shortly after North Korea fired a hypersonic missile, U.S. officials suspended a series of flights over the West Coast without explaining why.
Federal Aviation Administration America (The FAA) decided late on Jan. 10 to delay many flights at multiple airports on the country’s west coast as a “precautionary measure,” without specifying why.
“Entire flight operations resumed in less than 15 minutes. We are taking regular precautions and are evaluating this suspension, as has been the previous one,” the FAA said in a statement today.
Flight ban issued at the same time North Korea On the morning of January 11, the evening of January 10, US time, a missile carrying a supersonic glider warhead was launched. The FAA didn’t mention the coincidence, but experts said the FAA announcement didn’t resolve many of the mysteries surrounding the ban.
Air traffic records show that the ban did not only apply to the west coast of the continental United States, but pilots in the Hawaiian Islands received similar requests. Many aircraft in the air were also ordered to land as quickly as possible.
A pilot in Arizona, about 240 kilometers off the U.S. west coast, said the FAA announcement was described as a “national flight ban.” The statement did not specify the reason for the ban. Air traffic controllers in California mentioned a “national security threat” but didn’t mention it directly.
U.S. Military Strategic Command declined to comment on whether the North Korean missile launch was seen as a threat to U.S. territory. North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) said it had not issued a warning about the incident, denying reports that the FAA ordered a flight ban after receiving a warning from U.S. troops.
“North Korea’s increasingly powerful ballistic missiles, some of which are capable of hitting the continental U.S., so yesterday’s test that prompted U.S. officials to issue a flight ban is possible. Russian missile launches have led to false warnings of an attack on North Korea. Ramstein base in Germany in 2020,” said military expert Josef Trevithick.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced today that the January 11 test of a hypersonic missile was carried out successfully under the supervision of leader Kim Jong Un, with the warhead hitting a target sea area 1,000 kilometers away in the region. It was Kim Jong Un’s first direct supervision of a missile test since March 2020.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) previously said North Korea’s rockets were traveling at 10 times the speed of sound.
The January 11 launch was North Korea’s third test following its first hypersonic missile test last September. Experts say Pyongyang is trying to take advantage of the continuous missile launches to put more pressure on adversaries to accept them as a nuclear power and ease sanctions.
Wu Ying (follow drive)