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Suspect in Jet Crash Arrives in South Korea

December 16, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

SEOUL, South Korea — A woman suspected of involvement in the disappearance and possible sabotage of a Korean Air jet with 115 aboard arrived in Seoul on Tuesday.

The Asian woman, known only as Mayumi Hachiya, the name on her false Japanese passport, was extradited from Bahrain, in the Persian Gulf, on Monday, and flown here, along with the body of an elderly man who joined her in a double suicide attempt.

On arrival, she was led into a police ambulance under heavy security at Kimpo Airport.

South Korean officials have said the pair planted a bomb on a Korean Air Boeing 707 flying South Korean workers home from Baghdad, Iraq. They have accused the pair of being agents of North Korea.

Life Raft Recovered

The plane disappeared over the Andaman Sea off the Burmese coast on Nov. 29. The first wreckage from the plane, a rubber life raft with the airline's name on it, reportedly was retrieved Sunday off the Burmese coast about 130 miles southeast of Rangoon. Officials said the raft was found in the Andaman Sea.

The woman and her companion, identified on his false passport as Shinichi Hachiya, boarded the flight in Baghdad, disembarked at a stop in Abu Dhabi, and were later detained by immigration officers in nearby Bahrain. They attempted suicide by biting cyanide capsules hidden in a pack of cigarettes.

The woman's mouth and wrists were bound with tape, apparently to prevent another suicide attempt, as she left the Korean Air plane that brought her here after Bahraini authorities granted the South Korean request for extradition, She descended the stairs of the cargo jet with halting steps.

She will undergo interrogation by government prosecutors, officials said.

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