- (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)
South Korea soldiers have accidently opened fire at a civilian airplane after mistakenly thinking it was from North Korea, a military official from South Korea explained Saturday.
The soldiers were located on Gyodong Island, just off of South Korea's west coast near the border with North Korea, when they saw an aircraft approaching overhead. Two soldiers fired off 99 K-2 rifle rounds at the Asiana Airlines flight, which luckily was out of range and later landed completely undamaged.
The airplane had 119 civilian passengers on board, and was descending at the time to a scheduled landing at Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
The plane had flown to South Korea from the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu, an aviation controller told AFP news agency.
“The firing continued about 10 minutes but the plane was too far off the rifle's range and it did not receive any damage,” Yonhap News Agency has quoted an unnamed Marine Corps official as saying.
“When the plane appeared over Jumun Island, soldiers mistook it as a North Korean military aircraft and fired.”
Tensions have been particularly high on the border between North and South Korea since the North attacked the South in two serious incidents last year.