Chinese plane buzzed by 10 South Korean fighter jets ‘risks WAR’ with airspace INVASION

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
By Paul Martin

A CHINESE military plane encroaching South Korea airspace was headed off by more than 10 fighter jets in a provocative flight that risked triggering an “accidental” war.

By Joshua Nevett
DailyStar.co.uk
27th February 2018

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jet, thought to be a spy plane, entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ) without giving prior permission.

A fleet of fighter jets were deployed to monitor the PLA plane, which entered the KADIZ at 9.34am local time, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC).

More than 10 planes, among them F-15ks and KF-16s, were mobilised to shadow the Chinese aircraft during its four-hour flight close to South Korean territory.

Based on historical PLA incursions of the KADIZ, the path of the plane was described as “unusual” by the JSC – a group of South Korea’s top generals.

The PLA aircraft came within 30 nautical miles north-west of Ulleung Island in the East Sea before exiting the KADIZ at around 2pm local time.

“Our military warned it to stop the act of raising tensions that can trigger an accidental conflict through the South Korea-China [military] hotline and [pilot’s] radio communication,” the JSC said.

The aircraft is believed to be a reconnaissance plane sent to gather intelligence on the South Korean military, a JSC official told reporters.

China appears to be testing the reactions of South Korea’s armed forces, the official said.

The alarming flight was the closest a Chinese plane has ever come to South Korean territory without permission, he added.

Beijing, meanwhile, has sought to play down the significance of the flight, describing the operation as a “routine exercise”.

Three Chinese officers were called before the government to explain the flight and were urged to act to prevent similar incidents from happening again, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Yet China has entered the KADIZ with no authorisation in the past, most recently in January, when South Korean and Japanese fighter jets were dispatched.

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