A shocking mistake occurred on Friday morning when South Korean marine corps mistook an Asiana airliner flying from Chengdu to Seoul for a North Korean military jet and opened fire. Both South Korea’s military and Asiana Airlines confirmed the incident. Apparently when the plane was flying over Jumun Island, two soldiers based on the nearby Gyodong Island fired 99 rounds from their machine guns for approximately 10 minutes. No bullets hit the plane which was carrying 119 people on board–it was out of range (thankfully!) by 500 meters.
An intense investigation is sure to follow and while there’s no excuse to make such a potentially fatal mistake, if anything this gaffe goes to show just how tense the relations between the two Koreas are. Three months ago, minister for defense Kim Kwanjin reportedly told troops that if it was an attack from the north, they should fire immediately without hesitation, “Don’t ask your commanders whether to fire back or not. Take actions first and then report afterwards.”