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South Korea fires warning shots at Russian A-50 military aircraft

Military says it is the first time a Russian plane violated South Korea's airspace

South Korea said it fired warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday, July 23 after the Beriev A-50 violated the country’s airspace off its east coast.

The Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft breached South Korean airspace twice prompting the Air Force to scramble fighter jets and fire warning shots, an official at the Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP.

The first violation occurred just after 9 a.m. (midnight GMT) and lasted three minutes.

The plane returned half an hour later, breaching the airspace for four minutes this time, South Korea’s military said.

In response, the Air Force deployed multiple F-15k and F-16k jets to intercept the plane and fired flares after sending a message to the aircraft.

The official said it was the first time a Russian plane has violated South Korean airspace, adding that the military was investigating the matter.

The encounter occurred near the easternmost islets of Dokdo, disputed islands controlled by the South but claimed by Japan, the military said.

Seoul’s defense ministry plans to lodge a protest to Russian officials later in the day.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow on the incident.

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With reporting from AFP

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