South Korea fires warning shots after it says Russia violated its airspace


South Korea scrambled fighter jets and fired warning shots after it said a Russian military aircraft violated South Korean airspace on Tuesday, the state-funded news agency Yonhap reported.

Quoting officials with the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yonhap said the bomber breached national airspace twice Tuesday morning, each time for about three minutes, above the East Sea near the eastern islets of Dokdo. It called the alleged violation “unprecedented.”

Yonhap reported that the warplane was one of three Russian aircraft that entered South Korea’s expanded Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, on Tuesday, along with two Chinese military aircraft.

Entry into national ADIZ zones are not uncommon. But at 9:09 a.m. local time Tuesday and again at about 9:33, a Russian aircraft violated restricted national airspace over Dokdo, Yonhap said. The plane finally left about four minutes later “following further military actions,” it said.

A military official said the Defense Ministry planned to summon officials of the Russian and Chinese embassies later Tuesday to “lodge a protest in a grave manner,” Yonhap reported.

Russia alleged earlier this month that South Korea kicked out 26 Russian nationals who arrived in the country on an overnight flight July 14, saying South Korea complained that the Russians “failed to prove the purpose of their visit.”

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