S Korea expands air defence zone in disputed area

  • AFP, Seoul
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2013 01:42 IST

South Korea on Sunday declared an expanded air defence zone that overlaps with one announced by China and covers a submerged rock disputed by the two countries, as tensions rise over competing territorial claims.

The defence ministry said its new zone, which will take effect on December 15, would cover Ieodo — a rock in waters off its south coast which China calls Suyan.

The airspace above the Seoul-controlled rock — long a source of tension between South Korea and China — is also covered by Chinese and Japanese air defence zones.

China heightened tensions last month when it unilaterally declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, in which foreign planes are supposed to file flight plans with Beijing.

The zone — which encompasses some areas currently controlled by South Korea or Japan — has drawn intense protests from the two neighbours and objections from key allies such as the United States.

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