The South Korean military has confirmed it has deployed a team of war planes after detecting four Chinese and 15 Russian-flagged aircraft had intruded into its air defence identification zone. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the air force had been tasked with taking tactical measures to combat the foreign planes.
The JCS has said it believes China and Russia were conducting a joint military training exercise but added there needed to be a further investigation.
In a statement, the JCS said: “This incident seems to be a joint military drill between China and Russia but it requires a further analysis.”
The latest flare up comes less than 18 months after South Korean war planes opened fire at a similar joint patrol.
In July, 2019, the South Korean military fired warning shots in the sky following the deployment of Russian and Chinese air craft.
Jets from Japan joined Seoul in the operation and accused Moscow and Beijing of violating its air space – something Russia and China denied.
Officials in South Korea and Russia were then involved in a diplomatic spat following their response to the incident.
Yoon Do-han, South Korea’s presidential press secretary, claimed Russia had apologised for the incident and would launch an investigation – something Moscow denied moments later.
Mr Do-han said: “Russia has conveyed its deep regret over the incident and said its defence ministry would immediately launch an investigation and take all necessary steps.
“The officer said such a situation would have never occurred if it followed the initially planned route.”
Just hours later the Russia embassy in Seoul hit back.
In a statement, they said: “The Russian side did not make an official apology.”
This is a developing news story, more to follow.