South Korea scrambles fighters in response to Chinese planes

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Dec. 18, 2017 at 9:37 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
Sign up for our weekly Korea Now newsletter
An exclusive report putting perspective on the week's most important developments.

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- South Korea scrambled fighter jets after five Chinese military aircraft entered the country's Air Defense Identification Zone, or KADIZ, on Monday.

The deployment of two Chinese bombers, two fighters jets and a reconnaissance plane follows South Korean President Moon Jae-in's summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

A South Korean joint chiefs of staff official said the Chinese planes entered Korea-claimed airspace from the southwest -- and also flew into Japan's Air Defense Identification Zone, or JADIZ, South Korean newspaper Maeil Business reported.

"After our military noticed the aircraft approaching the KADIZ from the west, we used a hotline with the Chinese military to confirm whether or not it was Chinese military aircraft, and to take countermeasures," the South Korean official said.

South Korea scrambled F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets in response to the incoming flights -- two Chinese H-6 fighter jets, two J-11 fighters and one TU-154 reconnaissance aircraft.

The Chinese aircraft reportedly re-entered the KADIZ after leaving the Japanese zone, and did not leave the airspace until 1:47 p.m.

Chinese aircraft last flew in Korea-claimed airspace on Jan. 9, when they deployed six H-6K bombers, a KJ-200, a propeller airborne early warning and control aircraft and a Y-9 reconnaissance plane.

The Chinese flights Monday came as Beijing's foreign ministry said the summit between Xi and Moon was a "success," South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the two sides agreed to "improve and develop the relationship," and to "respect the interests of our neighbors."

The summit in Beijing was eclipsed last week by brutal beatings of South Korean photojournalists, which were met with protests in Seoul.

"Chinese security guards kicked Korean journalists in the face and engaged in a group attack," protesters said Friday. "It is a barbarous act, and it is hard to believe it could happen in a civilized country."

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories