Turning on the Heat: KAL Flight 007

The U.S. has Moscow on the defensive over the downed Korean airliner

The static was heavy. The words that sounded above the crackle were an unfamiliar Russian military-aviation jargon. The pilots' voices were unemotional, as if they were reporting to their ground controllers on the progress of the most routine training exercise. All of which made the tape more eloquently horrifying when it was played in excerpt for a national television audience by President Reagan and in full for the United Nations Security Council by U.S. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. In the translation, the pilot of the Soviet...

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