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South Korean Soldiers Fire on Inchon Bound Flight

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On Saturday 119 Passengers en route from Chengdu, China, to Inchon, South Korea, may have been unaware of rifle fire from a pair of South Korean soldiers stationed on Gyodong Island, which is directlly off the west coast of Korea and close to the still disputed demilitarized zone and border between North and South Korea. The fire unleashed from hand-held K2 rifles fell short by about half a kilometer because the passenger plane was somewhat out of range, so the passengers were never endangered.

The Asiana Airlines Flight was on course according to some reports, slightly north of course in other others; but in either case, flying over the Island of Jumun. The soldiers wielding the rifles believed the plane to be a North Korean military aircraft. The soldiers’ fire continued for about 10 minutes, dozens of rounds were discharged. The undamaged plane was in a descent and preparing to land at Inchon.

Tensions between North and South Korea have been more strained than usual in the past two years. South Korea has taken part in military maneuvers seen as threatening by North Korea, which has taken deadly action in response. China, too, has entered a more confrontational phase, as China seeks to take control of the South China Sea, near Vietnam and the Philippine Islands.

Diplomatic reaction to the rifle shots is anticipated soon, and the soldiers involved may be subject to discipline.

(Authors note: The soldier in the photo was not involved in the mistaken rifle fire)

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Cannonshop

    Damn, I thought we trained them better than that-they missed an airliner.

    Even worse, of course, is mistaking an airliner for a military jet. Asiana flies mostly Airbus and Boeing, neither of which resemble (even at a distance) the sort of designs (mostly Ilyusin or MiG) that the PRK uses for airstrikes or photo-recon.

    Okay, joking aside, this is a symptom of a serious problem-the PRK has shelled an island (recently) without drawing a military response. The kids on the border are probably keyed up nine ways to sunday off that, and stress makes you see shit that you dont’ really see.

  • John Lake

    Agree, they could be keyed up.
    The airliner was most probably on a regular flight path. Hmmm.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Man – and I mostly prefer Asiana! Best service of any airline I’ve ever used. My wife just returned last week on an Asiana flight!

    But I’m not surprised that they missed – the aircraft was near the end of the firearms’ range, and small-arms fire is generally not considered much of a real threat.