South Korea says scrambles jets to intercept two Russian aircraft

SEOUL/MOSCOW (Reuters) – South Korea said on Friday it had scrambled military jets to intercept two Russian military aircraft that entered the South’s air defense territory four times through the day.

The Russian aircraft were believed to be military bomber jets and spent more than three hours in the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone, the South Korean joint chiefs of staff told Reuters.

Both the South Korea joint chiefs and the Defence Ministry declined to give details on the number of South Korean military aircraft that were deployed.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement that two Russian TU-95 bombers escorted by Su-35 fighter jets flew over the international waters of the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian military said they were escorted by Korean F-15 and F-16 fighters jets along with Japan’s F-2A war planes “on some stages of the route”.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Josh Smith; editional reporting by Denis Pinchuk in MOSCOW; Editing by Robert Birsel and Andrew Heavens