SEOUL, South Korea — A Chinese pilot flew a MIG-19 jet fighter to South Korea in an apparent defection Friday, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.
It was the second apparent defection involving a Chinese MIG-19 this year and the fourth involving a Chinese military plane since 1983.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said the Chinese plane was met by two South Korean interceptors Friday afternoon when it entered South Korea's airspace over the Yellow Sea and was escorted to an air base. The spokesman did not identify the base, but official sources said it was near Chongju, 70 miles southeast of Seoul.
In Peking, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Chinese authorities were looking for a missing plane.
Taiwan Seeks Release
In Taiwan, the Nationalist Chinese Foreign Ministry said it instructed its embassy in Seoul to seek the pilot's release. A ministry spokesman said the pilot would receive the standard reward of 6,500 ounces of gold if he chooses to go to Taiwan.
On Feb. 21, a Chinese MIG-19 flew to South Korea and its pilot was later permitted to go to Taiwan.
In 1985, a Chinese-built H-5 light bomber crash-landed in a rice paddy in South Korea, killing a crewman and a farmer on the ground. The pilot was later allowed to go to Taiwan, while the radioman returned to China.
In 1983, a Chinese pilot flew a Chinese-built MIG-21 to South Korea seeking asylum in Taiwan.