Oh those zany North Koreans. First they starve their own people, then they threaten to shoot down any planes that fly over the country. After 20 years of allowing planes flyover rights (for a nominal $870 fee), the government has stepped up the rhetoric, saying it is “compelled to declare that security cannot be guaranteed for South Korean civil airplanes flying through the territorial air of our side.” Ouch.
In response Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada have re-routed their flights (at a cost of 40 minutes and $2500 per flight) to avoid North Korea’s airspace. Obviously it’s a bit nutty to threaten to shoot down airplanes. Even nuttier for the nearly broke nation is the $4 million in revenue it collects from airlines for flyover rights.