Oops: S. Korea Fires at Passenger Jet

Mistakes Asiana Air plane for N. Korean military plane, misses completely
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2011 7:26 AM CDT
South Korean Marines Mistakenly Fire at Asiana Airlines Passenger Plane
South Korean Catholic nuns pray during a mass for peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Friday, June 17, 2011.   (Lee Jin-man)

In a sign of how twitchy things are getting on the Korean border, South Korean troops yesterday fired at a commercial plane carrying 119 people, mistaking the Asiana Airlines jet for one belonging to North Korea's military. Fortunately, they missed entirely and the plane landed without incident. "The Marine Corps did fire, but they misidentified the plane," said an Asiana spokesman. "The plane did not suffer any damage and it landed safely."

As the AP tells it, two Marines fired their rifles at the plane as it approached Incheon International Airport, about 25 miles south of the Korean border, but the jet was out of rifle range. The incident comes as tensions simmer over a group of nine North Koreans in the South's possession; the South resolutely refuses the North's demand to return them, saying all nine are seeking to defect. The North is also furious over earlier reports that South Korean troops used Kim Jong Il's picture for target practice. (Read more South Korea stories.)

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