What’s behind Sea of Japan incident and how will new UK PM relate to Russia

4 min read

REFILE - ADDING HEADLINE Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), puts a rosette on the name of a candidate who is expected to win the upper house election, at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

South Korea’s controversial actions in the skies above the Sea of Japan should be treated as a misunderstanding, a Russian lawmaker told Izvestia. The newspaper’s sources in the Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that the Tu-95MS aircraft had been conducting a scheduled flight over neutral waters, while the pilots of South Korea’s F-16 jets had acted inadequately when conducting maneuvers dangerously close to the Russian bombers.The South Korean air force tried to interfere with the Russian aircraft’s flight path, claiming that they had entered Seoul’s air defense identification zone – a zone that “a country can declare on its own though it is not part of its airspace,” military expert Anton Lavrov said. International law doesn’t regulate the establishment of such zones, he pointed out. “Under current laws, it is neutral airspace where all aircraft can fly freely and their rights cannot be limited,” the expert added. “South Korea seeks to put the air defense identification zone on par with its airspace but formally, there was no border violation,” Leading Research Fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Far Eastern Studies Konstantin Asmolov stressed.

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