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October 16, 2019
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Russia ‘regrets’ military plane intrusion into South Korea’s airspace

SEOUL (South KOREA):  Russia has said that the violation of South Korea’s airspace by one of its military jet was not intentional.

The Seoul’s presidential office said that Russia had said the intrusion into South Korea’s airspace was unintended.

It claimed that a Russian military official expressed “deep regret” to the South Korean defence ministry and blamed a technical glitch.

On Tuesday, Soth Korea said a Russian warplane had twice violated its territorial airspace. At that time, the Russian defence ministry had denied this.

But South Korea’s Blue House said in a briefing that Russia had now said the violation was unintended and that it would immediately launch an investigation into the case.

“Moscow said if the aircraft flew according to an initially planned route, this incident would not have occurred,” a spokesman told reporters.

This has not been confirmed by Russian officials.

Also on Wednesday, China’s defence ministry denied any of the planes had entered the territorial air space of any country.

Russia’s defence ministry had said its plane was taking part in a joint air patrol by Russian and Chinese warplanes over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea – the first ever air patrol between the two countries.

South Korea’s military said that in total three Russian and two Chinese military aircraft entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) on Tuesday morning.

A separate A-50 Russian warplane also violated its territorial airspace twice, it said, before leaving.

South Korea says its jets fired flares and machine-gun warning shots when the Russian plane intruded. It also deployed F-15 and F-16 planes to intercept it.

The alleged incursion happened over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima islands, which are occupied by South Korea but also claimed by Japan.