Two Russian military planes reportedly violated South Korea’s air defense zone multiple times Friday — the latest provocative air maneuver from Russia, which has previously tested American and European zones.
The planes — which officials believe were TU-95 bombers — entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone north of the island of Ulleungdo and then flew out of the space southeast of Pohang between 2:08 p.m. and 2:35 p.m., South Korean officials told Yonhap News Agency. It wasn’t immediately clear if the planes were armed.
The same aircraft then re-entered the air space at 3:21 p.m. from the east and left northwest of Jeju Island between 3:21 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. officials said.
The planes moved back into the air space at 4:08 p.m., northwest of Jeju Island, and flew out at 4:32 p.m. Finally, the Russian jets entered air space east of the Dokdo inlets at 5:36 p.m. and departed at 5:53 p.m.
“Our military dispatched fighter jets for conducting normal tactical measures such as staging maneuvers in response and communicating warnings from the Russian military planes’ entry into the KADIZ until their exit,” officials said in a text to reporters, referring to the official name of South Korea’s air defense zone.
The bold move comes a month after President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet in Helsinki on Monday.