South Korea & Japan scramble jets: Russian and Chinese bombers carried out a joint patrol mission on Tuesday over the Pacific, as an exhibit of their growing military alliance, and this sent a panic alarm in the region. Japan and South Korea then dispatched their jets to track the bombers as a precautionary measure.
Russian military released the information of its pair of Tu-95 strategic bombers and four of Beijing’s H-6K bombers to have flown over the western Pacific’s Sea of Japan and East China Sea.
Japan scrambled its fighter jets to track the bombers which had flown over the conflicted islands of Takeshima/ Dokdo. The islands located in the Sea of Japan are under administration of South Korea, but claimed also by Japan. The Beijing and Moscow authorized bombers had also flown over the Tsushima Strait that separates Japan from the southernmost part of Korean peninsula. Furthermore, the bombers also flew near southern island of Okinawa where thousands of US troops are present.
South Korea too scrambled its jets after the bombers. The Yonhap news agency said it was “in preparation for accidental situations after they entered the country’s air defense identification zone.”
South Korean foreign ministry and military have said to have contacted Russian and Chinese counterparts over the concerns raised by aforesaid incident.
Defence ministry of Russia has said that the joint mission with China was aimed to “develop and deepen the comprehensive Russia-China partnership, further increase the level of cooperation between the two militaries, expand their ability for joint action and strengthen strategic stability.” The ministry noted that patrol was not intended against any third country.
This mission has been the second such patrol mission over the same area since July 2019.
It must be noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had noted back in October that a future alliance between Moscow and Beijing can’t be ruled out. Putin had also said that Russia has been sharing military technologies with China, hinting at strengthened military alliance between the countries. This is specifically critical amid growing rift between the nations and US.