Korean Jets Fired Warning Shots at Russian Military Aircraft
Korean Jets Fired Warning Shots at Russian Military Aircraft
  • reporter Choi Eun-je
  • 승인 2019.10.18 15:15
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▲Russian A-50 military aircraft / Alex Beltyukov
▲Russian A-50 military aircraft / Alex Beltyukov


Korea said its fighter jets fired warning shots at the Russian military aircraft that violated its airspace above islands of Dokdo, which is located in its East Sea, on July 23.
Early in the morning of July 23, two Chinese H-6 bombers and two Russian Tu-95 bombers entered Korea’s Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) in turn. After spotting these aircraft entered KADIZ, the Korea Air Force scrambled its F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets and broadcasted a warning to planes in response.
Then the Russian A-50 aircraft entered KADIZ at 9:01 A.M. and entered airspace over islands of Dokdo at 9:09 A.M.,  second at 9:33 A.M., staying total seven minutes in Korea’s airspace. According to the Ministry of National Defense, our fighter jets fired total 360 warning shots and 20 flares to it.
Korea took a firm response to the first airspace violation since the Korean War. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged a formal complaint on the same day. The director of the Office of National Security delivered a warning message to the secretary of the Security Council of Russia. 
At first, the Russian military attaché of embassy expressed deep regret for the plane’s airspace violation. He explained there was no intention to violate, but it was a result of mechanical error. However, Russia soon denied any airspace violations by its military aircraft. The Minister of Defense said its two bombers had not entered other countries’ airspace during the flight on July 23. Finally, the Russian government officially stated that the announcement that the military aircraft intruded into Korea’s airspace was not true by sending an official message to the Korean embassy in Russia.
Airspace violation is not a trivial matter that happens frequently, yet shows a country’s complex political intention. As it is directly related to Korea’s sovereignty, it has to be dealt with a firm and serious attitude. Therefore, regardless of Russia’s intentions, to make firm its sovereignty on airspace, Korea had to take a tough response to this accident.

Reporter Choi Eun-je