South Korean jets fires warning shots at Russian military plane

South Korean jets fires warning shots at Russian military plane

South Korea fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military aircraft conducting a joint air patrol with China on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Seoul's defense agency claimed the Russian plane had violated South Korean airspace, adding it was the first time Russia had done so.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said it did not recognize South Korea’s Air Defense Identification Zone over the island of Dokdo, which Japan also claims control of and calls Takeshima, per Reuters.

The agency also reportedly said in a statement that South Korea did not fire any warning shots toward Russia’s two bombers. The statement did not include a mention of the A-50 aircraft the Koreans claim to have fired toward.

The ministry accused the two South Korean F-16 fighter planes of carrying out “unprofessional maneuvers.”

“It was not the first time that South Korean pilots tried unsuccessfully to prevent Russian aircraft from flying over the neutral waters of the Sea of ​​Japan,” the Russian ministry reportedly said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry said the area was not territorial airspace and that all countries enjoyed freedom of movement in it, according to Reuters. 

In a response to Russia's statement, South Korea said the two bombers apart from the A-50 did not violate its airspace.

The joint patrol, which also drew sharp protest from Japan, marks an increased level of defense cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.