- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2022

South Korea scrambled F-15 jet fighters early Wednesday after at least eight Russian and Chinese combat aircraft flew into the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone without notice, authorities said.

Military officials said in a statement to Reuters that they dispatched the fighters “in preparation for a potential contingency” but that the Russian and Chinese planes did not violate South Korea’s airspace.

Unlike internationally recognized air space, an Air Defense Identification Zone is declared unilaterally. It can extend beyond a country’s territory to give them more time to respond to possible hostile aircraft.

Russia confirmed that an air task force of Russian and Chinese bombers carried out joint aerial patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. They were flying Russian Tu-95MS strategic missile bombers and Chinese Hong-6K strategic bombers, according to TASS, the official Russian news agency.

Russian military officials said the joint air patrol with China lasted about eight hours. They acknowledged that South Korean and Japanese jet fighters “escorted” their bombers during some stages of the patrol.

“In the course of accomplishing their missions, the aircraft of both countries acted in strict compliance with the provisions of international law,” Moscow said, according to TASS. “There were no violations of the airspace of foreign states.”

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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