South Korea fires warning shots at Russian military aircraft

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South Korea says its jets fired warning shots at a Russian surveillance plane that entered its airspace on Tuesday.

Officials said the plane twice violated the airspace over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands, which are occupied by South Korea but also claimed by Japan.

South Korea’s ministry of defence said it scrambled fighter jets in response and fired 360 machine-gun rounds.

Russia has however denied violating the country’s airspace.

Moscow explained that two of its bombers carried out a planned drill over “neutral waters” and denied any warning shots were fired by South Korean jets.

This is the first incident of its kind between Russia and South Korea.

South Korea’s military also maintained that in total three Russian and two Chinese military aircraft entered the Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, under UN conventions, countries control airspace above their territory and territorial waters (up to 12 nautical miles from the coast).

In this case, South Korea claims Russia went beyond its ADIZ and into the territorial airspace surrounding the islands.