South Korea protests over Chinese military aircraft intrusion

South Korea protests over Chinese military aircraft intrusion

Is China testing the South Korean military's capability? / Yonhap

By Jung Min-ho

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned China's ambassador to South Korea Tuesday after Chinese military aircraft intruded on its air defense identification zone (KADIZ), a ministry official said Wednesday.

"First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam summoned the ambassador (Qiu Guohong) Tuesday night to file a complaint and urge him to ensure that it doesn't happen again," the official said.

"We are working closely with the defense ministry to share information about the incident."

It came after the Chinese jet flew over South Korea's territorial waters for more than four hours ― from its southern end to Ulleung Island in the East Sea ― before leaving the KADIZ.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the jet is believed to be a reconnaissance plane. It said the flight route was different from China's previous dispatch of warplanes into the zone.

It was unprecedented for China's military aircraft to fly so close to South Korea's eastern airspace without Seoul's authorization. Yet Beijing claimed was part of a "routine exercise."

Experts suspect China was testing the South Korean military's radar detection capability.