South Korea Expands Air Defense Zone, Angering Japan and China

US Praises Move, Says Koreans Asked Them First

It’s the sea equivalent of a land rush in the Asian Pacific lately. First China announced it was establishing an “air defense zone” over the disputed Senkaku Islands. The move sparked anger from South Korea and Japan.

Now South Korea, after condemning China’s action, has done the exact same thing, setting up an air defense zone of its own in the East China Sea.

South Korea’s new zone not only seizes disputed airspace, as the Chinese version did, but also overlaps parts of both Chinese and Japanese air defense zones. The move has not been well received by either China or Japan.

The US State Department, which angrily condemned China for its move, has praised South Korea, noting that South Korea’s government “conferred with the United States in advance,” suggesting the biggest problem with China’s move was that they didn’t get permission from the US beforehand.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of