South Korea’s defense ministry has lodged a “stern” protest with China and Russia after its military planes entered the country’s air defense identification zone.
On Tuesday, four Chinese and four Russian military aircraft entered Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ) and exited, prompting the South Korean Air Force to scramble fighter jets. They did not violate South Korea’s air space.
Lee Seung-beom, director general for international policy at the ministry, expressed regret over the KADIZ entry to military attaches at the Chinese and Russian Embassies in Seoul, respectively, in separate phone calls.
“The defense ministry expressed regrets to the two countries over the flight to the sensitive areas close to our air space,” the ministry said in a press release.
The ministry also called on them to take appropriate measures to prevent a recurrence, noting that such a flight could cause regional tensions.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said aircraft were expected to identify their presence when they enter the air defence zone “so as to prevent accidental clashes”, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday.
“Our military identified the Chinese and Russian planes before their entry into the KADIZ and deployed Air Force fighters to conduct tactical steps in preparation against potential accidental situations,” Yonhap reported, citing a statement from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.