‘Russian military jets intrude into S. Korea air space’

SEOUL

Six Russian military aircrafts violated South Korean airspace, prompting the East Asian nation to scramble its fighter jets, to turn the intruding aircrafts back, Soul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) office said on Tuesday.

The JCS office represents group of chiefs from all branch of the armed services.

The Russian aircraft included three fighter jets, two bombers and an airborne early-warning control (AEWC) plane, said the local news agency Yonhap, quoting the JCS statement.

The JCS claimed that the aircrafts entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) four times. The statement said that the South Korean Air Force took “due measures” such as tracking the Russian planes and sending out warning messages.

The day’s developments echoed tense moments, when South Korea had to fire hundreds of warning shots, to thwart a similar alleged Russian intrusion into the South’s territorial airspace last July.

South Korea has claimed that there were 20 violations of KADIZ, by Russian aircrafts so far in 2019.

Amid these renewed tensions, South Korea and Russia are poised to engage in talks on Wednesday to discuss setting up of a military hotline.

Meanwhile, speaking during a budget speech at the National Assembly, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, while his country’s approach was to continue to work for peace, but at the same time there was plan to augment defenses as well.

“The Korean Peninsula is facing the last hurdle on its way towards permanent peace, the barrier of denuclearization,” Moon said in comments reported by broadcaster KBS.

“Only dialogue can break that barrier,” he asserted.

He urged Pyongyang to respond positively to his proposal, so that both sides are able to enjoy the economic benefits of peace.

He also emphasized that a “strong security was essential.”

The government’s 2020 budget proposal represents a 7.4% jump from last year — with 50 trillion South Korean won ($43 billion) allocated for developing new submarines and satellites and other defense equipment.
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