FILE PHOTO: A Russian A-50 military aircraft flies near the disputed islands called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan July 23, 2019. Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said it scrambled fighter jets in response to an intrusion into its air defence identification zone by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft on Tuesday.
Four Chinese warplanes entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) followed by 15 Russian aircraft, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The South Korean military dispatched air force fighters to take tactical measures.
The South Korean military said the Chinese military had informed South Korea that its planes were carrying out routine training before the Chinese aircraft entered the KADIZ.
“This incident seems to be a joint military drill between China and Russia but it requires a further analysis,” the JCS said in a statement.
South Korea’s foreign ministry contacted China and Russia and told them there should not be a recurrence, Yonhap news agency reported.
In July last year, South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots toward Russian military aircraft on a joint air patrol with China, when they entered South Korean airspace.
South Korea and Japan, which both scrambled jets to intercept the patrol at the time, accused Russia and China of violating their airspace. Russia and China denied it.
Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Robert Birsel and Andrew Heavens