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S. Korea says Chinese planes often infringed on KADIZ last year

All Headlines 16:52 January 10, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Chinese military planes have on more than a dozen occasions intruded into the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) last year ahead of Monday's breach by 10 planes, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Tuesday.

"Chinese military planes used to enter KADIZ mainly near Ieodo. It was rare to see Chinese planes intruding on KADIZ in the past," a JCS official said in a press briefing.

Ieodo is an underwater rock formation located some 160 kilometers south of Jeju, South Korea's largest island and a popular tourist resort. South Korea built an unmanned science station at the site.

The defense ministry is analyzing the real intention of Chinese military aircraft flights, though the Chinese authorities have replied that its planes were conducting military drills, he said.

The planes included bombers and an early warning aircraft, according to the JCS.

On Monday, the Chinese military planes flew into KADIZ for several hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., prompting South Korea to launch 10 fighters made up of F-15Ks and KF-16s.

The South Korean jets sent a warning signal to the Chinese planes, while its Air Force also delivered warning messages to the Chinese side.

In 2013, South Korea expanded its own KADIZ to cover Ieodo after China included it in its own air defense identification zone that is designed to give a country more time to check unauthorized planes that may pose security problems.

This undated composite image from Yonhap News TV shows planes flying above the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) and a map of the surrounding area. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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