Chinese Military Plane Buzzes Korea's Air Identification Zone

  • By Yu Yong-weon

    January 30, 2018 10:44

    A Chinese military aircraft flew without warning into Korea's air defense identification zone near Ieo Island on Monday. Eight Korean fighter jets were immediately scrambled to intercept it.

    It was the second violation of the KADIZ by a Chinese aircraft in about 40 days.

    The military aircraft entered the zone from southwest of Ieo Island around 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said. It left the zone abound 25 minutes later and entered Japan’s ADIZ. It reached about 120 km south of Ulleung Island, where it turned round there and flew south in the direction of China.

    It was apparently a patrol plane or an electronic-warfare aircraft remodeled from the Y-8 transport plane.

    The Korean Air Force immediately scrambled eight F-15Ks and KF-16s to keep an eye on the Chinese plane.

    On Dec. 18 last year, five Chinese military aircraft -- two H-6 strategic bombers, two J-11 fighters and a TU-154 reconnaissance aircraft -- also violated the KADIZ near Ieo Island.

    China has territorial designs on the submerged rocks, but international bodies do not recognize islands that are invisible above the water.

    Air defense identification zones are not territorial airspace, but planes entering them are obliged to identify themselves to the country that claims the zone. The Korean, Chinese and Japanese zones overlap near Ieo because each country established its own unilaterally.

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