June 22, 2011 12:56
South Korean marines mistakenly fired at an Asiana Airlines passenger plane because they were tense due to inter-Korean tension after last year's attacks by North Korea on the Navy corvette Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island, Le Figaro reported on Monday.
The French daily added the marines mistook the passenger jet for a North Korean military plane amid pressure to respond rapidly to attacks.
No one was hurt.
The accident "may have been triggered by North Korea's belligerent declaration that it would sever all contacts with the South," the paper said, citing South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin's recent warning of surprise attacks by North Korea.
The two marines who fired at the Asiana plane from Chengdu, China to Incheon International Airport acted according to new instructions that compel soldiers to respond first and report up the chain of command later.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com