South Korea Slams North's 'Inhumane' Flight Threat

Pyongyang condemned for warning it can no longer guarantee safety for civilian aircraft
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2009 8:15 AM CST
Travelers buy tickets at the Korean Ari ticketing office at Gimpo Airport in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 6, 2009.    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – South Korea has called on North Korea to withdraw an apparent threat to passenger jets, the Times of London reports. Flights have had to be diverted since North Korea, enraged by upcoming US-South Korea military exercises, warned yesterday that it could no longer guarantee the safety of civilian aircraft—a statement the US labeled "distinctly unhelpful."

"To threaten military action against a civilian aircraft that is flying under international air regulations is not only against international laws but is an inhumane action," an official from South Korea's Ministry of Reunification said. "This cannot be justified for whatever reason." The diversions have added up to an hour to flight times in the region.