Seoul: A North Korean plane crashed in China, killing the pilot, a news report said Wednesday.
The pilot may have been trying to defect to Russia, Chinese intelligence sources were quoted as saying by the South Korean Yonhap News agency.
The plane crashed in the north-eastern province of Liaoning near the border with North Korea. No other injuries were reported.
Beijing confirmed that a small plane crashed in the area late Tuesday, but did not comment on its origin, China News Service said.
Photos posted online claiming to be of the wreck showed the North Korean flag on the plane`s tail.
Experts said the aircraft appeared to be an old Russian-made MiG-15, now mostly used by the North Korean air force for training.
Another source said the pilot may have become lost while trying to escape to Russia, according to the report.
China`s repatriation pact with North Korea makes it an unlikely destination of choice for defecting servicemen, the report said.