On 12 November 1987, the two North Korean agents traveled from Pyongyang, North Korea on an airliner to Moscow, then in the Soviet Union. From there, the agents left for Budapest, Hungary, the following morning, where they stayed in the home of a North Korean agent for six days. On 18 November, the pair traveled toVienna, Austria by automobile. After crossing the Austrian border, the guidance officer with whom they had stayed in Budapest gave the pair two forged Japanese passports. Posing as tourists staying in the Am Parkring Hotel in Vienna, the two purchased tickets from Austrian Airlines for flights which would take them from Vienna to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, then on to Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and finally Bahrain. They also purchased tickets from Abu Dhabi to Rome, Italy, for use in escaping after planting the bomb on the KAL flight.

On 27 November, two guidance officers who had arrived in Yugoslavia by train from Vienna gave them the time bomb, a Panasonic transistor radio made in Japan, which contained explosives, a detonator, and a bottle of liquid explosive intended to intensify the blast, disguised as a liquor bottle. The next day, they left Belgrade for Saddam International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on an Iraqi Airways flight. At the airport, they waited three hours and 30 minutes for the arrival of KAL 858 – the target of their operation – which took off at around 11:30 pm The two bombers planted the improvised explosive device above their seats, 7B and 7C, and disembarked the aircraft at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

On the second leg of the flight, from Abu Dhabi to Thailand, KAL 858 was carrying 104 passengers and 11 crew members. At around 2:05 pm Korea Standard Time(KST), nine hours after the bomb was planted and towards the end of the flight, the bomb detonated and the aircraft exploded over the Andaman Sea(14.55°N 97.3833°E), killing all 115 on board. The pilot transmitted his final radio message shortly before the explosion: “We expect to arrive in Bangkok on time. Time and location normal.” … Wreckage from the flight washed up on a Thai beach. The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder were not located.

After the attack, the bombers attempted to fly from Abu Dhabi to Amman, Jordan – the first leg of their planned escape route – but there were complications with airport authorities regarding their visas; therefore they were forced to fly to Bahrain, where they agreed they would travel to Rome. However, the bombers’ passports were identified as forgeries at the airport in Bahrain. Realising that they were about to be taken into custody, they both attempted suicide by ingesting cyanide hidden inside cigarettes. Kim Sung-il was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead, but the female, 25-year-old Kim Hyon Hui, survived. –Wikipedia

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