24 Jul 2019 12:42

Russia didn't issue official apology to S. Korea over aircraft flight - Russian Embassy in Seoul

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) - Moscow did not apologize to Seoul over the Tuesday incident involving Russian aircraft, Dmitry Bannikov, press officer of the Russian Embassy in South Korea, told Interfax.

"We saw reports in South Korean media citing the words allegedly said by the acting military attache. We have taken note of those reports. In this light we can say, for our part, that there are many things in them that aren't true. The Russian side did not issue an official apology," Bannikov said, commenting on South Korean media reports citing South Korean presidential press secretary Yoon Do-han that the Russian side "expressed deep regret" over the incident.

According to Yoon, the incident occurred due a "technical error." The Russian military attache in Seoul conveyed the Russian side's statement to the South Korean Defense Ministry, he said.

Russia informed the South Korean Defense Ministry that the flight had been conducted by the Russian and Chinese military aircraft as part of a joint exercise, Yoon said. "Moscow said its aircraft flew in accordance with the pre-planned route and the incident should not have happened," he said.

On Tuesday, the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed its protest to Russia over the alleged violation of South Korea's airspace by a Russian plane.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea's Armed Forces said earlier that a Russian military aircraft had twice violated South Korea's airspace over the Sea of Japan on Tuesday.

South Korea accused a Chinese military aircraft of the same violation of its air space.

Russian Aerospace Forces Long-Range Aviation Commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Kobylash, in turn, said that Russia's Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bombers did not violate the airspace of South Korea and Japan.