KE032 DFW-ICN flew WEST of North Korea to ICN. WHY?


New member
Nov 4, 2018
I flew Korean Air 32 from Dallas to ICN/Seoul.
While watching the flight information screen at the seat, I saw that we were flying straight in to North Korea.
I thought to myself that peace talks had allowed overflight, but was wondering if that was a good idea.
200 miles or so from the border we took a RIGHT turn and went around NK.
It felt like it took forever because of the shape of the peninsula, though I'm sure it was the same either way.

Why did they do this?

Also, Korean air is SkyTeam alliance, then how do they code share with OneWorld AA for the DFW-ICN, ICN-DFW flights?

In addition, I flew KE032 three weeks ago, I can't find that flight any more, we only have American for DFW-ICN, ugh!
Sorry, I found out that Flight 32 has a weird schedule, Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, and flies parallel to AA, so I was having trouble finding the flight.

Thanks, all!
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unpredictable member
Sep 2, 2003
Total Time
I'd need to know a bit more about the routing. Did you come in from the PRC or from over the Sea of Japan? Either could be used depending on how the flight was built regarding winds aloft, volcanic eruptions on the Kamchatka Peninsula or in the Aleutian Islands or because of favorable costs related to use/airspace/carbon fees or several other things including the airspace structure in the PRC-they aren't big on granting shortcuts, likely due to military airspace or overflight restrictions or just because that's the way Mao said to do it!

Also, remember that the Korean Peninsula runs mostly North and South and that Incheon is on the West side of that peninsula-RKSI, er, ICN in the obsolete three letter airline code, is actually on an island West of Incheon and Seoul. Given the Great Circle Route it may well have been shorter to arrive from the North and West than cut South earlier and then West across Korea below the DMZ...if you look up flight routing from Dallas to Incheon it will show the Great Circle route cutting down the length of the DPRK without regard to the issues of the divided country.

Hope that helps...
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