By Jung Sung-ki
A former North Korean Air Force pilot who defected to South Korea in 1996 has been promoted to the rank of colonel, according to the Republic of Korea Air Force Tuesday.
On May 23, 1996, Capt. Lee Chul-su defected to the South by flying south over the Yellow Sea in an aging MiG-19 fighter to land at Suwon air base. Lee was the second North Korean fighter operator that had defected to the South since Capt. Lee Ung-pyong defected and landed his MiG-19 at a South Korean airfield in 1983.
Lee had served as a senior pilot in North Korea’s 1st aviation division.
After defecting, Lee held the rank of major and served with the ROK Air Force’s combat development group and other pilot training organizations. He has lectured on various subjects including North Korean flying skills, and tactics.