SEOUL: South Korea said it scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday in reaction to an infiltration by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft into its air defence identification zone.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, four Chinese warplanes reached the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ), accompanied by 15 Russian aircraft (JCS).
In order to take operational action, the South Korean military deployed air force fighters.
The South Korean army said South Korea had been told by the Chinese army that its aircraft were carrying out routine training before the Chinese aircraft reached Kadiz.
The JCS said in a statement, “This incident seems to be a joint military drill between China and Russia, but it requires further analysis.”
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Yonhap news agency confirmed that South Korea’s foreign ministry approached China and Russia and told them there could not be a recurrence.
In July last year, as they reached South Korean airspace, South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots at Russian military aircraft on a joint aviation patrol with China.
Russia and China were suspected of breaching their airspace by South Korea and Japan, who also scrambled jets to intercept the patrol at the time. It was rejected by Russia and China.