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South Korea fires 360 warning shots at Russian aircraft allegedly violating its airspace

Seoul: Russian and Chinese military aircraft violated the South Korean airspace on Monday morning. Upset with the violation that occurred four times in only a few hours, South Korea sent its fighter jets and fired 360 warning shots at the Russian aircraft. Furthermore, the South Korean Ministry of National Defence (MND) warned that any further violation would be dealt with very firmly. However, Russia has denied South Korean allegations.

The South Korean officials claimed that the violations were committed during the China-Russia war exercises. Initially, the Chinese ‘H-6 Bombers’ travelled through the South Korean airspace twice between 6.45 am, and 7.45 am. After that, the Chinese bombers circled over the Korean Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ), for a minimum of 24 minutes. Right after, the Russian A-50 Command and Control aircraft violated the South Korean airspace, twice in the next hour.

Noting the violation, the South Korean air force issued 30 warnings to the Russia pilot. On receiving no response from the pilot, South Korea despatched the F-15F and KF-16 fighter jets. The fighter jets fired around 360 warning shots at the Russian aircraft. After that, the Russian defence ministry once again clarified that the plane had not violated the South Korean airspace.

Also, ‘If the South Korean airspace was violated again, it will be dealt with very strongly. Russia should exercise extreme caution,’ the South Korean defence ministry warned. The defence ministry stated that it was the first instance of a Russian aircraft violating the South Korean airspace. Previously, incidents of Chinese and North Korean planes violating the South Korean airspace had been reported.

Russia has dismissed the South Korean allegations. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian military aircraft had not entered the South Korean airspace. As per the Ministry, the two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers had travelled through the international airspace.

Even Japan criticised the Russian aircraft violation of the South Korean airspace. The Japanese government highlighted that this kind of action could threaten the security of their nation. Moreover, Japan hosts massive military, naval and air bases for the United States. Therefore, the Russian and Chinese intrusion in the sector becomes a matter of grave concern.

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