February 15, 1970: North Korea set free 33 men and 6 women Saturday, more than two months after an airliner in which they were passengers was flown to the north.
The passengers were taken to intelligence headquarters here immedatiately after their arrival from Panmunjom.
They crossed the border there early in the day, 45 minutes after North Korea announced that everyone from the plane who wanted to return home would be allowed to do so.
Still in North Korea are the plane’s four crew members – pilot, co-pilot, and two stewardesses – and eight other passengers.
A North Korean news agency report, monitored in Hong Kong, said they had earnestly requested to be allowed to stay in the North after being “lost in wonder” by what they saw there.
North Korea earlier commended the two hijackers for taking the plance to the North and made them reserve officers in the North Korean army.
The plane, a Japanese-built YS-11 turbo-prop, was diverted north during a regular domestic flight from South Korea’s east coast to Seoul Dec. 11.
Article archived at Google News.