South Korean troops mistakenly shoot at passenger jet
- 18 June 2011
- From the section Asia-Pacific
South Korean troops have fired at a passenger jet after mistaking it for a North Korean aircraft.
Soldiers on Gyodong island, off South Korea's west coast, fired 99 rifle rounds at the Asiana flight, which was out of range and landed undamaged.
The incident took place early on Friday close to the tense border between the Koreas.
The airliner, which had 119 people on board, was descending at the time to Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
The plane had flown from the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu, an aviation controller told AFP news agency.
Two marine guards fired their K-2 rifles at the civilian flight, according to South Korea's Yonhap 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 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."
The BBC's Lucy Williamson, in Seoul, says the West Sea - which contains the disputed maritime border between North and South Korea - has been especially tense since two attacks on South Korea last year.
Relations between the two nations have been frosty ever since, with North Korea recently vowing to break ties with the South in retaliation for what it called "psychological warfare" against it.