SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea announced that its air force jets fired hundreds of warning shots on Tuesday to fend off a Russian military aircraft that invaded its territorial airspace, the first such meeting between countries for decades.
Russian and Chinese air strikes into the sensitive airspace between South Korea and Japan – two important American allies – presented Washington and Seoul with a daring challenge.
Three Russian military aircraft and two Chinese fighter jets marched on Tuesday in the South Korean air defense an identification zone off the east coast, in which foreign military aircraft have to identify in advance to South Korea.
B In other cases, the Russian aircraft injured South Korean airspace for several minutes, causing nearby South Korean F-15 and F-16 fighters to fire 20 torches and 360 machine gun bullets as warning shots from half a mile away. The South Korean jets took action after the Russian plane had failed to answer repeated radio warnings.
The South Korean military did not disclose any further details. However, it is highly unusual that Russian and Chinese planes would carry out a joint ocean-to-sea mission between South Korea and Japan.
In recent years, long-range bombers and reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian and Chinese armed forces have undertaken such a mission, often entered the South Korean air defense zone, causing its air force to dispatch fighter jets to face them. However, the episodes on Tuesday were the first time in recent memory that a Russian fighter plane entered south Korean territorial airspace without a permit, officials said.
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's national security adviser to President Moon Jae-in, sent a warning to his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, on Tuesday. It warned that South Korea would "take a much stronger action" if Russia tried similar maneuvers.
Seoul also planned to call Russian and Chinese diplomats to South Korea to protest, officials said. And the Japanese government filed a formal complaint against the Russian maneuvers and South Korean machine-gun fire over "our territory," the Kyodo news agency reported.
Military aircraft entering the Air Defense Identification Zone of another country must notify this country in advance But in recent years, the countries of the region have often accused each other of violating this protocol. If a military aircraft flies into the zone without proper notice, the host country may order leaving the zone or dispatch military jets to confront the invading plane, " according to Russian media. Instead, she accused two South Korean F-6 jets of carrying out dangerous maneuvers that threatened their planes.
In 2013, for the first time in 62 years, South Korea extended the air defense identification zone over the East China Sea to China and Japan. With the expansion of South Korea, the air defense zones of all three countries now overlap over a submerged reef named Ieodo in South Korea and Suyan Rock in China.
South Korea expanded its air patrol zone two weeks after China had fueled regional tensions by unilateral widening its own Air Patrol Zone with airspace over the reef. The expanded Chinese air control zone also includes a number of islands in the East China Sea, Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, which form the core of a territorial feud between Japan and China forming military tensions in the region.