MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bombers performed a flight over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan, the Yellow and East China Seas, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
"Two Tu-95MS strategic missile-carrying bombers of the Aerospace Force performed planned flights over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan, the Yellow and East China Seas," the ministry said in a statement.
The bombers were escorted by Russian Su-35S fighter jets and A-50 long-range radar surveillance planes, the statement says.
At some stages of the flight route, the Tu-95MS bombers were shadowed by a pair of F-15 and F-16 fighters of South Korea’s Air Force and F-2 fighters of Japan’s Air Force, according to the statement.
"Long-range aviation pilots regularly perform flights in strict compliance with the International Rules of Using the Airspace, without violating the borders of other states," Russia’s Defense Ministry emphasized.
A spokesperson for the South Korean Defense Ministry told TASS over the phone on Tuesday that six Russian warplanes (an A-50 radar surveillance plane, three Su-27 fighters and two Tu-95 bombers) had entered Seoul’s air defense identification zone north of Ulleungdo Island in the Sea of Japan at 09:23 local time (03:23 Moscow time) and left it seven minutes later. However, the aircraft entered the air defense zone several more times in the next six hours, the South Korean Defense Ministry claimed, pointing out that the Russian aircraft had not violated the country’s airspace.
South Korea’s air defense identification zone covers both the republic’s airspace and partially the area referred to the international airspace. Despite this, the South Korean military demand that they get information in advance about the intention to enter the identification zone and the goals of a flight. If they get no such information, they scramble warplanes for intercepts even if foreign aircraft do not violate the republic’s airspace.