Our Bureau
09:57 AM, October 29, 2019
For the First Time, Chinese Military Aircraft Seeks Permission to Enter South Korean Airspace
China's Y-9 transport plane (Image: Xinhua)

A Chinese military plane that entered South Korea Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) sought permission by sending prior notification on Tuesday, ending the practice of breaching the zone without notice.

After sending the flight information, A Chinese military’s Y-9 transport aircraft entered the KADIZ twice over waters near the country's southern island of Jeju. It stayed in the zone for about 77 minutes in total, Yonhap News reported quoting an unnamed military officer.

"Upon detecting an unidentified flight object approaching KADIZ, our Air Force scrambled multiple jets and learned it was a Chinese one. When we then tried to communicate with the Chinese side via our military hotline, China, in response, let us know of its flight information, including its route and purposes," the officer was quoted as saying by Yonhap.

Chinese warplanes have entered KADIZ more than 25 times so far this year, but it is the first time that China shared such flight information ahead of the KADIZ entry.

The two sides have set up a hotline to mend defense ties soured amid tensions over Seoul's decision to host an advanced US missile defense system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Last week, Seoul and Beijing held their vice ministerial-level strategic dialogue for the first time in five years and agreed to set up more hotlines between their air forces and navies.

Currently, they have one such channel between Seoul's master control and reporting center and China's northern theater command. The S Korean Air defense identification zone is not territorial airspace but an area to prevent infiltration by foreign planes and accidental clashes.