South Korean fighter jets fired about 360 warning shots towards a Russian warplane that had allegedly entered the country’s airspace, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
According to the news agency, the South Korean Air Force fired a total of 20 flares and about 360 warning shots towards the Russian warplane from a distance of around one kilometer. The incident occurred over the Liancourt Rocks located in the Sea of Japan.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff alleged earlier on Tuesday that three Russian and two Chinese warplanes had violated the country’s air defense identification zone over the Liancourt Rocks, contested by Tokyo. In response, South Korea’s F-15 fighters were scrambled and fired warning shots.
South Korea’s air defense identification zone includes not only the country’s airspace but also a segment of international airspace. The South Korean military demands that aircraft give early warnings about plans to enter the zone. If an aircraft fails to do so, warplanes are scrambled to intercept it even if the country’s airspace is not violated.
The Russian Defense Ministry repeatedly points out that the Airspace Force conducts flights in accordance with international rules. On Tuesday, the ministry said that two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers had not violated other countries’ airspace during their scheduled flight above the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan.