(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two Chinese and six Russian nuclear-capable bombers abruptly entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone on Wednesday, forcing the country to scramble its air force aircraft.
The two Chinese aircraft entered the zone on Wednesday at about 5:50 a.m. local time. According to officials, the Chinese aircraft left the area almost an hour before returning with Russian bombers and flying over the region in the Sea of Japan at about 12:20 p.m. local time.
“Our military dispatched air force fighter jets ahead of the Chinese and Russian aircraft’s entry into the KADIZ to implement tactical measures in preparedness for a potential crisis,” the Joint Chief of Staff said in a statement to Reuters.
The Russian Defense Ministry openly acknowledged to state-run media that Chinese H-6K bombers and Russian Tu-95 bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea during an eight-hour exercise. Although it’s unknown whether they were armed during the mission on Wednesday, both Tu-95s and H-6Ks can carry nuclear missiles.
The bombers were “accompanied by fighter jets from foreign states during parts of their route,” according to the Ministry.
Both Chinese and Russian aircraft adequately complied with all applicable international laws. No foreign country’s airspace was infringed against, added Moscow.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the Russian aircraft practiced landing at Chinese airfields, while one Chinese bomber practiced landing in Russia. The location of the Russian aircraft landings and if any of the contested island regions, where a sizable Chinese military presence is now present, were engaged were not mentioned.
The Russian ministry also announced that an air group made up of Tu-95MC strategic missile carriers from the Russian Aerospace Forces and strategic bombers [Xian] H-6K of the [Chinese regime’s] Air Force performed air patrols over the Japanese and East China Seas.
The Tupolev Tu-95, also known as the “Bear” by NATO, was developed during the Cold War to deliver nuclear weapons to the US or its allies. Along with the Tu-160, the Tu-95 is a vital component of the Kremlin’s nuclear arsenal.
Nuclear warheads were dropped from the Chinese-made Xian H-6K aircraft, an exact clone of the Soviet Tupolev T-16 bomber, at the Lop Nur test site in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.
Relations between Beijing and Moscow have strengthened, while the Kremlin appears to have moved to forge ties with North Korea.
The United States and South Korea have stepped up their joint military drills with Japan and the Philippines in the wake of these recent occurrences.