South Korea declares expanded air defense zone in disputed area

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SEOUL – South Korea on Sunday declared an expanded air defence zone overlapping one recently announced by China that has sharply increased regional tensions.

Seoul’s defence ministry said its new zone, which will take effect on December 15, would cover Ieodo — a submerged rock reef in waters off its south coast, which China calls Suyan.

The airspace above the Seoul-controlled rock — long a source of tension between South Korea and China — is also covered by Beijing’s zone.

“We will coordinate with related countries to fend off accidental military confrontations and to ensure safety of airplanes,” defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said.


China last month unilaterally declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, asking foreign planes to identify themselves.

AFP

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