South Korea’s newly established air defense zone went into effect on Sunday, with its airborne early warning and control aircraft conducting a patrol and surveillance mission over it.
A week ago, Seoul announced the new Korean air defense identification zone to counter China’s unilateral decision to expand its own to cover a reef and other islands off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula.
The new zone is designed to have its southern boundary match the country’s broader flight information region, including airspace over the Seoul-controlled reef of Ieodo and the southern islands of Marado and Hongdo.
“The early warning plane will conduct a patrol and surveillance mission over some parts of the expanded air defense zone,” a government official said. “But the mission doesn’t include the skies over Ieodo.”
Another official said the Navy will also fly its P3-C anti-submarine surveillance aircraft over the expanded area for patrol missions four to five times a week. (Yonhap News)