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South Korean jets fire hundreds of warning shots at Russian military plane

A Russian A50 airborne early warning and control aircraft.

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Written by Syndicated News

SEOUL, July 23 2019 : The South Korean military fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military aircraft that entered South Korean airspace today, defence officials in Seoul said, with Chinese military aircraft also entering South Korean airspace.

It was the first time a Russian military aircraft had violated South Korean airspace, an official at the Ministry of National Defence in Seoul said.

The warplane was one of three Russian aircraft to enter the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) early today, one of which entered the zone twice, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Two Chinese military aircraft also entered the KADIZ, it said.

There was no immediate public comment from Russia. China’s foreign ministry did not respond immediately to a Reuters request for comment.

The South Korean government would lodge official complaints about the violations with China and Russia, the defence ministry in Seoul said.

According to the South Korean military, a single Russian aircraft also later violated South Korean airspace over Dokdo – an island that is occupied by South Korea and also claimed by Japan, which calls it Takeshima – just after 9 a.m. (midnight GMT Monday).

The Russian aircraft was an A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, an official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, and South Korea scrambled F-15 and F-16 fighter jets in response to the intrusions.

The South Korean jets fired around 360 rounds of ammunition during the incident, the JCS official said.

“The South Korean military took tactical action including dropping flares and firing warning shots,” the defence ministry statement said.

A South Korean defence official told Reuters that the Russian aircraft did not respond in any threatening way.

 The Russian aircraft left South Korean airspace but then entered it again about 20 minutes later, prompting the South Koreans to fire more warning shots.

The ministry said South Korean warplanes “conducted a normal response” to the incursion, without giving further details. – Reuters

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