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FILE PHOTO: A plane of Germany's air carrier Lufthansa takes off at Fraport airport in Frankfurt, Germany, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo


FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Airline Lufthansa said on Friday it had changed its flight routes to Japan because of North Korean missile tests.

Lufthansa Group, which owns Swiss, Lufthansa, and Lufthansa Cargo, had already been avoiding direct overflights of North Korean airspace for more than a year, the company said.

"As a result of the latest North Korean missile tests, Lufthansa Group has decided for now to change routings to and from Japan, purely as a precautionary measure," the airline said, adding that changes to the flight time were negligible.

Air France-KLM said on Thursday it had expanded its no-fly zone over North Korea after one of its jets flew past the location where an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) splashed down 10 minutes later.

Air France's flight 293, a Boeing 777 carrying 323 people from Tokyo to Paris, missed North Korea's latest ICBM as it fell to earth on July 28 by about 100 km (60 miles), a spokesman for Air France-KLM said, citing flight data provided by Japan.

North Korea said a week ago that its latest ICBM test proved its ability to strike the U.S. mainland, drawing a sharp warning from President Donald Trump and a rebuke from China.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Writing by Maria Sheahan and Edward Taylor)

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