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South Korea scrambles jets as China, Russia warplanes enter air defense zone

South Korea's military says it scrambled fighter jets as Chinese and Russian warplanes entered its air defense zone.

Fighter jets were scrambled as two Chinese and six Russian warplanes entered the country’s air defense zone on Wednesday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said on Wednesday.

The Chinese H-6 bombers repeatedly entered and left the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) off South Korea’s southern and northeast coasts starting at around 5:50am (2050 GMT Tuesday), the JCS said.

They re-entered the zone hours later from the Sea of Japan, known in Korea as the East Sea, joined by the Russian warplanes, including TU-95 bombers and SU-35 fighter jets, the JCS added.

The aircraft did not violate South Korea’s airspace, the JCS noted.

An air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is the airspace of a country plus an additional wider area over land and water in which a country tries to identify, locate, and control any civil aircraft in the interest of its national security. They are declared unilaterally by each country and are not recognized by any international treaty.

In a similar occurrence, US fighters earlier intercepted two Russian bombers in the international airspace close to the northern US state of Alaska.

US warplanes intercept Russian bombers close to Alaska

United States Air Force F-16 fighters escorted two Russian Tupolev Tu-95 combat bombers after they entered the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement on October 18, 2022.

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