Fighter Jet Went Down In China About 90 Miles From N. Korean
Some sources in South Korea are quietly speculating that the
pilot of North Korean military jet which went down in China near
the Korean border may have been defecting.
Details are sketchy coming out of China, but the plane is
thought to be a Russian-made MiG 21. The accident occurred Tuesday,
and the pilot was the only person on board the aircraft at the time
of the crash. The Chinese government says he was killed when the
plane impacted the ground in Liaoning Province about 93 miles from
the Chinese border with North Korea.
One intelligence source told The Korea Times that the
North Korean military has reduced food rations, and that the pilot
may have been defecting simply out of hunger. Recent currency
reform in North Korea failed, and there are reports that the nation
is having a difficult time feeding its populace. Defections have
reportedly increased this year, with most escaping on foot to
The paper reports that North Korean pilots have defected with
their airplanes twice before in the past 27 years. Both of those
pilots fled to South Korea in military airplanes. Sources said this
aircraft was more likely headed to Russian but the pilot got lost
and went down in China instead.