Seoul, Jun 7 (EFE).- South Korea’s defense ministry said Wednesday that it had lodged a protest through diplomatic channels with Moscow and Beijing over an incursion by their aircraft in the country’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ).
On Tuesday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that four Chinese military aircraft and four Russian military aircraft entered the southern and eastern parts of the KADIZ between 11:52 and 1:49 pm.
The jets did not violate South Korea’s air space, the JCS statement added.
South Korea’s air force deployed four fighter jets in response to the incursion.
On Wednesday, South Korea conveyed its “stern” protest to the military attaches at the Chinese and Russian embassies in Seoul, the defense ministry said.
“The defense ministry expressed regrets to the two countries over the flight to the sensitive areas close to our air space,” it added, local news agency Yonhap reported.
The South Korean ministry also urged Russia and China to take measures to prevent such an incursion from recurring, saying that it could lead to regional tensions.
The news of the incursion came hours after China’s defense ministry reported that Russian and Chinese military aircraft had carried out a joint patrol mission over the seas of Japan (where the KADIZ is located) and eastern China.
The joint patrol, the sixth operation of its kind, is part of an annual cooperation plan linking Beijing and Moscow.
Similar situations have occurred in the past, most recently in late December.
In November, both South Korea and Japan scrambled jets when Chinese bombers entered the KADIZ without notice.
An air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is an area where nations require that foreign aircraft identify themselves. It is typical for military authorities to respond early to aircraft approaching a country’s ADIZ.
It is a standard international practice that military aircraft entering an air defense identification of another nation submit a flight plan to the country in advance and notify the location upon entry, something that did not happen on Tuesday when Russian and Chinese fighter jets entered the KADIZ. EFE