On 8 December2013 South Korea expanded its defense zone in the East China Sea, also called Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). This is the first time South Korea took such a step in response to the decision taken by China to set a defense zone of its own in the disputed area of East China Sea on 23 November.
This has increased regional tensions; as now South Korea has expanded its defense zone beyond the southern edge of its present zone. On 23 November China took a unilateral decision to establish East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone. It changed the status quo creating apprehensions of frictions and tensions among the littoral countries that include Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The ADIZ when expanded will overlap with the areas of China’s Defence Identification Zone.
The 23 November decision had displeased South Korea as well as Japan because it included the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku islands. These are claimed by both Japan and China. Moreover the Chinese Defence Zone includes the submerged Leodo reef which is currently owned by South Korea. Both Japan and South Korea have contested the Chinese zone as China claimed that it had reported at least 12 aircrafts of Japan and the US.
Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)
It is a defined area in international space either on water or land, within which aircrafts reaching the territorial space of the related nation are tracked and observed for national security. They go beyond a country’s airspace so that a country can respond to foreign aircrafts and events like hijackings in time.
The first Air Defence Zone was established by the US immediately after the Second World War. Now several countries have such zones including India.
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