The American Aviation Authority (FEW) briefly suspended the activities of several airports on the west coast on the eve of this Tuesday, following the launch of a new missile of North Korea.
“As a precaution, the FAA temporarily suspended all departures from some airports on the West Coast on Monday night,” the traffic regulation agency reported. “Operations were normally resumed 15 minutes later.”
The statement does not mention the Pyongyang missile launchBut White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki implicitly acknowledged at a press conference that the two events were related. When asked about North Korea’s missile launches and airport closures, he replied that the FAA “did it out of a precaution.”
The FAA “will review its procedures,” he added.
The suspension came minutes after North Korea launched a projectile at 22:27 GMT, or 14:27 on the west coast of the United States.
The “suspected ballistic missile”, according to the South Korean army, traveled about 700 kilometers at an altitude of about 60 kilometers and at hypersonic speed, before falling into the sea.
Aeronautics fans became aware of the suspension of flights in the United States and posted several recordings of conversations between air traffic controllers and pilots of commercial aircraft on social media.
In one of them an air traffic controller is heard in Burbank, near Los Angeles, asking a pilot to land on “national security issue.”
A spokesman for the US-Canadian Military Air Safety Command (Norad) told AFP that the army had not issued any alerts after the North Korean shooting.
“As far as we are concerned, the missile launch has been detected and assessed to pose no threat to the United States and Canada,” the spokesman said. “Therefore, no alert has been issued.”
The United States has raised its alert level since North Korea demonstrated in 2017 that it was capable of launching ballistic missiles at the United States.
On January 13, 2018, a false ballistic missile alert caused panic in Hawaii. Villagers mistakenly received instructions on their mobile phones to take shelter immediately.