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S Korea to discuss with China over air defense zone

Updated: 2013-11-25 14:38
( Xinhua)

S Korea to discuss with China over air defense zone

SEOUL - South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that it will discuss with China this week over the recently announced Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in East China Sea that partly overlaps with the country's military air zone and covers Ieodo, a southernmost submerged rock claimed by Seoul.

"The Korea-China vice defense ministerial-level strategic dialogue, scheduled to be held in Seoul on Nov 28, will discuss overlapping areas between the ADIZ and Korea's ADIZ (KADIZ) along with the ADIZ that includes Ieodo," Kim Min-seok, spokesman of Seoul's Defense Ministry, told reporters at a routine press briefing.

South Korea's Vice-Defense Minister Baek Seung-joo will reportedly hold the third bilateral strategic talks in Seoul Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The talks comes after China's Ministry of National Defense said that all aircraft in the ADIZ must report their flight plans to authorities in advance, maintain two-way communications with the ministry and follow instructions for identification.

Any airplane that fails to follow such rules will face emergency defense measures taken by the Chinese military.

The air defense identification zone is established by a maritime nation to guard against potential air threats. Since the 1950s, 20-plus countries, including the United States, Japan, Germany, Australia and South Korea, have set up their own zones.

The newly launched ADIZ of China and the existing KADIZ had overlapping areas of 20 km wide and 115 km long, according to local media reports.

The ADIZ also covered Ieodo, which lies 149 km southwest of South Korea's southernmost island of Marado.

Spokesman Kim said that the air defense identification zone is different from a territorial air, noting that the zones have been set up to identify airplanes entering a certain area in advance on concerns that an unidentified fighter jet can invade the territorial sky. He added that the freedom of innocent over-flight can be guaranteed in the air defense identification zone as the area is on open waters.

On the Ieodo, Kim said South Korea's jurisdiction in the submerged rock has not changed, noting that the country's naval and air force operations have been made possible already as the area surrounding the rock was included in the country's approved area of operations (AAO).