Seoul: South Korea's military said it launched air force jets on Tuesday after four Chinese and four Russian military aircraft entered the country's Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ).
China's defense ministry said in a statement that the patrol was part of an annual cooperation plan with Russia, with the drills coming in the wake of US-South Korean joint exercises on the Korean Peninsula.
What we know so far
The South Korean military said the Russian and Chinese planes did not violate its airspace during the incursions to the south and east of the peninsula. According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, neither country gave notice that their planes were entering the zone.
Air defence zones are areas where countries demand that foreign aircraft take special measures to identify themselves before entering.
However, unlike national airspace — the air above a country's territory and territorial waters — no international rules govern air defence zones.
In November, Seoul also scrambled jets when Chinese H-6K bombers and Russian TU-95 bombers and SU-35 fighter jets entered the KADIZ.
Japan scrambled jets last May after Chinese bombers and two Russian drones were identified over the Sea of Japan. That came as Tokyo hosted a summit with the leaders of the United States, India, and Australia.