South Korean teen who tried to open plane door mid-flight admits drug use
SEOUL – A 19-year-old in South Korea under investigation for attempting to open an emergency door during a flight has admitted that he took methamphetamine days before the incident, local police said on Friday.
The unnamed teenager, who tried to open the airplane door during a flight from the Philippines to South Korea’s main airport in Incheon, said he took drugs with six Filipinos at a hotel in Cebu two days before the flight. He has since been questioned by the Incheon Airport Police.
The suspect was on a Jeju Air flight that departed from Mactan-Cebu International Airport on June 19.
During the flight, he said he “would kill everyone by opening the door” and argued with flight attendants when they tried to move his seat, issuing threats with a pen at one point, according to witness testimonies.
When asked later about the incidents by local reporters, he said that he “felt like being attacked by those in power”. He did not elaborate further and did not provide a clear motive for his actions when questioned by police.
He was taken into custody moments after landing, and tested positive using a rapid drug test.
The prosecution has requested a detailed examination of his samples by the National Forensic Service, for which it is currently awaiting a result. If drug use is confirmed, officials plan to conduct an investigation on how he acquired the substances.
The incident had caused a scare for the South Korean public after a similar incident occurred in May.
On May 26, a 33-year-old surnamed Lee forcibly opened a door during an Asiana Air flight from Jeju Island to Daegu.
No severe injury occurred as the incident took place when the plane was at low altitude – 200m above ground – but 12 passengers experienced minor issues including nausea and trouble breathing. The damage to the plane was estimated to be 640 million won (S$657,000).
Lee was charged with property damage and violation of the Aviation Security Act. - THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK