DMZ Flashpoints: The 1969 Hijacking Of Korean Airlines YS-11

Thanks to the ROK Drop blog for this excellent piece on the hijacking and Mr Hwang which includes several articles from 1969 and 1970:

August 10, 2015: North Korea has a long history of terrorism with the 1968 Blue House Raid when 31 North Korean operatives tried to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung-hee as the most audacious example.  Once the commandos were detected the ensuing gunfights killed dozens of civilians and soldiers. A year later on December 12, 1969 the North Koreans would conduct a more conventional terrorist act by hijacking a civilian airliner flying from Gangneung to Gimpo carrying 46 passengers and four crew members. Continue reading at the ROK Drop blog.

Freed Koreans Retell Hijacking

February 16, 1970: Some of the passengers on the plane tore up their identification cards and threw them in the toilet. Others stayed seated, pale and breathless. All of them could see the North Korea guards pointing rifles at the plane.

Freed Koreans

Outside on the airfield, the hijacker, wearing a grey coat and a white flu mask, was met by North Korean army officers and shortly sped away in a black sedan. It was a biting cold -4 degrees below zero. Continue reading “Freed Koreans Retell Hijacking”

Hijacked Passengers Finally Return Home

February 15, 1970: Thirty-nine passengers of a hijacked South Korean airliner returned to loved ones Saturday after spending 65 days in detention in Communist North Korea. Twelve others, including the crew, remained in North Korea along with the plane.


The returning South Koreans, some crying and others singing their national anthem, arrived in Seoul at 7:40 p.m., two hours after their release at the truce village of Panmunjom. Continue reading “Hijacked Passengers Finally Return Home”

NK Frees 39 on Plane

February 15, 1970: North Korea, giving less than 20 minutes notification, allowed 31 of the 50 people on board the Korean Airlines plane diverted just over two months ago to walk home through a Panmujon checkpoint Saturday.


The passengers were reported “happy” by UNC spokesperson and reporters at Freedom Bridge, near the truce village. After identification, the passengers were given coffee, milk, cigarettes, and fresh clothes sent by their families. Continue reading “NK Frees 39 on Plane”

North Korea Releases 39 Held for 65 Days

February 14, 1970, Freedom Bridge, Korea: North Korea today freed 39 of the 51 persons who were aboard a South Korean airliner hijacked to North Korea last Dec. 11. The plane’s crew and two stewardesses were among those not released.

North Korea Releases feb 14 1970 Upi alt


The (North) Korean Central News Agency broadcast the announcement of the release only a few hours before they were brought to the line of demarcation separating North and South Korea. Continue reading “North Korea Releases 39 Held for 65 Days”

SK Rejects Talks On Hijacking

December 26, 1969: South Korea rejected North Korea’s proposal today for a meeting of nonpolitical organisations from the two countries to discuss the return of passengers aboard a hijacked South Korean airliner.

rejects alt

Information minister Shin Bum-shik said the North Koreans would be making “a great mistake” if they tried to use the innocent civilians as hostages.  Continue reading “SK Rejects Talks On Hijacking”

Talks on Hijacking Proposed by NK to SK

December 23, 1969: North Korea offered today to negotiate with South Korean representatives for the return of passengers from a hijacked airliner, according to the North Korean press agency.

NY Times

A Korean Airlines YS-11 turboprop plane was hijacked to North Korea on Dec. 11 with 47 passengers and four crewmen aboard shortly after it took off from Kangnung to Seoul, South Korea. Continue reading “Talks on Hijacking Proposed by NK to SK”

Seoul Rally Hits Plane Hijacking

December 15, 1969: Thousands of Seoulites jammed Changchung Park here in bone-chilling cold Saturday chanting anti-Communist slogans and carrying anti-Communist placards in a protest rally over the hijacking to North Korea Thursday of a KAL airliner with 51 persons aboard.


Deputy Seoul Mayor Kim Chong-o told the huge crowd: “We must unite in our efforts to get the kidnapped citizens freed.” Continue reading “Seoul Rally Hits Plane Hijacking”