Saturday, February 4, 2023

SKorea scrambles jets after Chinese, Russian warplanes approach

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SEOUL: South Korea’s military said it scrambled fighter jets Wednesday as six Russian and two Chinese warplanes entered its air defence zone without notice.

The Chinese H-6 bombers repeatedly entered and exited the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) near South Korea’s southern and northeast coasts early Wednesday, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

Hours later they returned to the zone from the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, accompanied by Russian warplanes including two Su-35 fighter jets and four TU-95 bombers, it added.

The warplanes eventually all left the zone and did not violate South Korea’s airspace, Seoul said.

An ADIZ is an area wider than a country’s airspace in which it tries to control aircraft for security reasons, but the concept is not defined in any international treaty.

“Our military deployed air force fighter jets even before Chinese and Russian aircraft entered the KADIZ to take tactical measures in case of contingency,” the JCS said in a statement.

Beijing and Moscow appeared to have “engaged in a combined air exercise”, Seoul’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed “observers”.

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