President Park Geun-hye's official plane was forced to make a 40-minute detour en route to the United Arab Emirates on May 19 because Tehran refused it entry into Iranian airspace.
"The Iranian Air Force couldn't understand that the presidential airplane was seeking to cross Iranian airspace," a senior Cheong Wa Dae official told the Chosun Ilbo on Monday. "We informed them that it was 'Air Force One,' but it appears that ground staff misunderstood that as an 'Air Force plane.'"
He added the government already had the necessary authorization from Tehran, but there was a glitch in communication between staff.
As a result, Park arrived late in the UAE, where she was to open a Korean-built nuclear reactor.