South Korea fires warning shots at Russian warplanes


South Korean fired warning shots after a Russian military plane violated South Korea’s airspace on Tuesday, Seoul officials said, in the first such incident between the countries.

Three Russian military planes initially violated South Korea’s aerial identification zone off its east coast before one of them entered the country’s territorial sky, the South’s Defense Ministry said.

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South Korean fighter jets then scrambled to the area to fire warning shots, a ministry official said, requesting anonymity due to department rules.

The Russian plane left the area but it returned and violated the South Korean airspace again later Tuesday, the ministry official said. He said the South Korean fighter jets fired warning shots again.

It was the first time a Russian military plane violated South Korean airspace, according to South Korean officials.

The three Russian planes had violated the South Korean aerial identification zone with two Chinese military planes. But it wasn’t immediately known whether the two countries deliberated did so, according to the South Korean official.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said it plans to summon Russian and Chinese Embassy officials later Tuesday to register formal protests.