The agency reported that the man, who was in his 30s, told police he felt "suffocated" and was struggling with stress after losing his job.
He was reportedly arrested on Friday after pulling the emergency door lever on the Asiana Airlines Airbus A321 during a flight from Jeju Island to Daegu International Airport. The flight had 194 passengers on board, 48 of which were primary and middle school children on their way to a sporting event. The man has yet to be named.
Video footage of the incident showed wind roaring through the cabin as the door hung open while the plane was coming into to land, per Yonhap News Agency.
None of the passengers sustained serious injuries, but 12 passengers showed signs of breathing issues, with some taken to hospital, Yonhap News Agency reported.
"The children were shaking, crying, and frightened. Those sitting near the exit must have been shocked the most," the mother of one of the pupils told Yonhap.