The Hijacked Flight My Mother Didn’t Take

February 18, 2015: On December 11, 1969, a Korean Air Lines flight was on a brief domestic route within South Korea, when a North Korean agent hijacked the plane by aiming a gun at the pilots. North Korean fighter jets also swarmed in and accompanied the flight. The plane was forced to land in North Korea, along with its crew of two pilots, two stewardesses, and 46 passengers. The crew and seven other passengers never returned to South Korea.

As fate would have it, my mother just missed being one of the stewardesses on that flight, Korean Air Lines (KAL) YS-11. Continue reading at The Archipelago.

Family of Hijacked Plane Passenger Seek Permission to Visit NK

February 15, 2014: Family members of passengers and crew on Korean Air Lines flight KAL YS-11, which was hijacked and taken to North Korea in 1969, asked the Unification Ministry on Feb. 14 for permission to visit North Korea to find out for themselves whether the kidnapped passengers are dead or alive.


“February 14 was the day when some of the passengers on the hijacked plane came back, but 11 people, including my father Hwang Won, have still not returned even after 40 years,” said Hwang In-cheol, chairperson of the KAL YS-11 Families Committee. “Aside from one flight attendant who attended the divided family reunions in 2001, we do not know whether the other 10 people are still alive.” Continue reading at The Hankyoreh.

Fate of Abducted Korean Airlines Passengers Still Unclear

July 5, 2010: As the second reunion of separated families during the Korea War, only Seong Kyeong-hee, who was a KAL flight attendant at that time, was verified as alive among eleven KAL passengers abducted in 1969.

It is not clear whether eleven of the abducted South Koreans are still alive, but in 1992, North Korean spy Oh Gil-nam, who had studied abroad in Germany, claimed that they were still alive and did broadcast propaganda to South Korea. He insisted that Jeong Kyeong-sook, Seong Kyeong-hee, and two other males and females were veteran workers in broadcasting to the South entitled “voice of saving the country.”

Continuing to argue that the two male workers were Won Hwang and Kim Bong-ju, he also claimed that he heard from his daughter that Yu Byeong-ha and Choi Seok-man, the KAL captain and first officer at that time, were working for North Korea’s air force. Continue reading at Open Radio for North Korea.

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”