MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. The South Korean Foreign Ministry summoned Russia’s Charge d'Affaires Maxim Volkov to hand him a note of protest over Tuesday’s jet incident above the Sea of Japan, the ministry said in a statement published on its website.
According to the statement, South Korean Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Yoon Soon-gu said that "the Russian aircraft’s violation of the South Korean airspace undermines trust-based relations between the two countries." He demanded that Moscow provide "explanations and apologies, and take measures to prevent such incidents in the future."
The South Korean Foreign Ministry also summoned Chinese Ambassador to Seoul Qiu Guohong.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff alleged earlier on Tuesday that three Russian aircraft - two Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers and a Beriev A-50 early warning and control aircraft - and two Chinese warplanes had violated the country’s air defense identification zone over the Liancourt Rocks. In response, South Korea’s F-15 and F-16 jets were scrambled and fired warning shots.
South Korea’s air defense identification zone includes not only the country’s airspace but also a segment of international airspace. The South Korean military demands that aircraft give early warnings about plans to enter the zone. If an aircraft fails to do so, warplanes are scrambled to intercept it even if the country’s airspace is not violated.
The Russian Defense Ministry repeatedly points out that the Airspace Force conducts flights in accordance with international rules. On Tuesday, the ministry said that two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers had conducted a scheduled flight above the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan without violating other countries’ airspace. The ministry added that South Korea’s F-16 jets had carried out awkward maneuvers close to the Russian aircraft.