South Korean fighter jets fired about 360 warning shots towards a Russian warplane that had allegedly entered the country’s airspace, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to the news agency, the South Korean Air Force fired a total of 20 flares and about 360 warning shots towards the Russian warplane from a distance of around one kilometer. The incident occurred over the Liancourt Rocks located in the Sea of Japan.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff alleged earlier on Tuesday that three Russian and two Chinese warplanes had violated the country’s air defense identification zone over the Liancourt Rocks, contested by Tokyo. In response, South Korea’s F-15 fighters were scrambled and fired warning shots.

South Korea’s air defense identification zone includes not only the country’s airspace but also a segment of international airspace. The South Korean military demands that aircraft give early warnings about plans to enter the zone. If an aircraft fails to do so, warplanes are scrambled to intercept it even if the country’s airspace is not violated.

The Russian Defense Ministry repeatedly points out that the Airspace Force conducts flights in accordance with international rules. On Tuesday, the ministry said that two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers had not violated other countries’ airspace during their scheduled flight above the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan.


Source: TASS

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    The procedure described in the article seems odd to me as it doesn’t respect ICAO procedures.
    If after the flares are dropped and you still refuse to comply, warning shots are given. If you still refuse to follow, you may (or not) be given a last warning. If you still go ahead, the fighter in your 9:00 will break and his buddy in your 6:00 will operate a destruction shoot.
    In case of violation of airspace, either you’re re-conducted out of the area, or you’re ordered to land.

    What is often wrongly named “interception” in international airspace is something else : if you’re an unplanned flight and enter an ADIZ (Air defense identification zone)
    You’re supposed to take contact with the ATC and provide a flight plan.
    Fighter jets may be sent for visual identification.
    A little detail about Chinese ADIZ : they pretend having the right to make you change your flight plan while you’re in international airspace and not intending to enter their and they pretend having the right to control airspace over areas with Japanese or S-Korean territories (islands, e.g. Socotra Senkaku…).
    These procedures are not accepted by all nations/airlines, while China or Russia refuse to acknowledge Japanese ADIZ while Japan (and Soko) do NOT interfere with what is flying out of their airspace.
    Everybody will have understood, China acts in the air as she does at sea, considering international areas, just like these were parts of China.
    It’s one of the many reasons China is more and more despised at intl. level, e.g. their fleet of 5,400 fishing boats having totally looted the EEZ of several countries, the “Dragon’s debt trap”, the looting of natural resources in exchange of infrastructure works not worthing the value (destruction of Gabon’s rainforest, etc… another fell flat : 2 squadrons of Chengdu J-10 in exchange of exploitation of biggest Iranian oil field for 30 years. Value of the 36 aircraft : about $1-1.2B)