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Iran Press TV

China says regrets South Korea move

Iran Press TV

Mon Dec 9, 2013 10:55AM GMT

China has expressed regret about a recent move by South Korea to expand its East China Sea air defense zone.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a press briefing in Beijing on Monday that China "expresses regret over the ROK's (Republic of Korea) decision to expand its ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone)."

Seoul announced on Sunday that it was expanding its Air Defense Identification Zone by about 66,480 square kilometers (25,670 square miles) - roughly two thirds the size of the country.

"China will stay in communication with the ROK based on equality and mutual respect. We hope that the ROK will meet China halfway," Hong stated.

The South Korean Defense Ministry said Sunday that its new zone would cover Ieodo - a submerged rock reef off the South Korean south coast, which China calls Suyan.

"Suyan is a submerged reef. It is not a territory. China and ROK have consensus on that. The relevant issues can only be solved through negotiation of maritime demarcation," the Chinese official added.

South Korea's new zone will take effect on December 15.

The new air zone in the East China Sea, announced by Beijing in November, covers islands that are under Japan's administrative control but are claimed by China.

Beijing demanded on November 23 that all aircraft provide a flight plan, declare their nationality and maintain two-way radio communication before entering the airspace, or face "defensive emergency measures."

Japan, South Korea, along with the United States, which is in security alliances with them both, have all refused to accept Beijing's move.

MSH/HSN



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