South Korean fighter jets fired around 360 warning shots at a Russian military aircraft after it violated the country’s airspace twice, according to South Korean defense officials.
The South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that a Russian A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) aircraft twice violated the South Korean airspace off the country’s eastern coast on Tuesday morning. According to South Korean officials, it was the first time a Russian military plane violated South Korean airspace.
The incursion occurred near the easternmost islets of Dokdo (known as Takeshima in Japan), disputed islands controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. The islands are located roughly halfway between the two countries.
During the initial violation, South Korean F-15K and F-16K fighter jets were scrambled to the area and fired 10 flares and 80 rounds from machine guns as warning shots and when the Russian aircraft returned again, the jets fired additional 10 flares and 280 machine gun rounds as warning shots.
According to reports, two Russian Tu-95 long-range bombers violated South Korea’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) off its east coast in a separate incident. The Russian aircraft were reportedly joined by two Chinese H-6 bombers. The incursion came during what South Koreans officials believe was a joint Russian-Chinese military exercise.