Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Russia-China 'joint air patrol' causes worry and concern in Japan and South Korea.

Tensions are heating up in the skies over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea after Russia confirmed it had carried out a joint air patrol with China, over the region, the first of its kind

The Russian defence ministry said two of its Tu-95MS strategic missile-carriers joined with two Chinese Hong-6K strategic bombers on what they say was a pre-planned route over "neutral waters". The bombers were also supported by fighters jets and A-50s and Kongjing-2000 airborne early warning and control aircraft.

The Russian and Chinese aircraft went into South Korean and Japanese airspace over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands, which are occupied by South Korea but also claimed by Japan.

Officials from South Korea confirmed that five aircraft had entered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) at around 09:00 local time on Tuesday, following which it dispatched F-15 and F-16 planes were deployed to intercept them.  The military said it had fired 10 flares and 80 machine-gun rounds during the first violation. Some time later, one of the A-50's reentered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone and the South Korean's responded with 10 more flares and 280 machine-gun rounds.

The South Korean Presidents office issued a statement, "We take a very grave view of this situation and, if it is repeated, we will take even stronger action,"

The Japanese have also complained over the incident and the tension is rising over the region as it is understood the Russian and Chinese are already planning another joint venture patrol in the coming days.  

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