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N. Korean Fighter Jet Crashes in China

Posted August. 19, 2010 13:36,   


A North Korean jet fighter crashed Tuesday in Liaoning Province, China, about 200 kilometers from the North`s border with China.

Why the fighter entered Chinese airspace remained unknown as well as the fate of the pilot. Speculation is rising, however, that the pilot sought to flee the North with his airplane.

Xiluwang, a Chinese Internet site providing data on the Chinese military, reported Wednesday that a North Korean military aircraft crashed in Fushun Prefecture around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. A day earlier, China’s official Xinhua News Agency also briefly reported that an unidentified small plane crashed in Lagu, Liaoning.

Two photos provided by Xiluwang showed the crash of a fighter jet into a cornfield after it tore through a small building that appeared to be a farmhouse. A North Korean air force logo with a red star was found in the red and dark blue circles on the tail engine area of the aircraft.

Military experts say the aircraft appeared to be a MiG 21, a Soviet-era fighter. The site of the crash was 214 kilometers from Sinuiju, a North Korean city near the border with China and where a North Korean air force base is located.

Access to details of the crash was restricted, however. Chinese authorities sealed off the crash site and controlled media reports on the incident, according to Xiluwang and the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao.

Due to the limited access to information, media reports showed about a one-hour discrepancy in the timing of the accident and the number of casualties. A MiG-21 fighter is usually manned by one pilot but two can go on board if the plane is modified for training purposes.

The cockpit was invisible in the photos, making it impossible to see if the aircraft was modified.

Quoting a Chinese Internet user, Ming Pao said that among the two pilots aboard, one was killed and the other ejected to safety. Other reports say, however, that the plane had just one pilot who was killed instantly.