|South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok speaks during a press conference for an expanded KADIZ at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul, South Korea, Dec. 8, 2013. South Korea decided to expand its air defense identification zone (KADIZ) southward, Seoul's Defense Ministry said in a televised press briefing on Sunday. (Xinhua/Park Jin-hee)
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SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Sunday announced a southward expansion of its air defense identification zone (KADIZ), encompassing some islands to the south of the Korean Peninsula.
The enlarged KADIZ included the nation's two southernmost islands of Marado and Hongdo as well as the Suyan Rock, a submerged reef within the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of China and South Korea, defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told an emergency press briefing.
"The Republic of Korea (ROK) government decided to change the KADIZ range after considering the specialty of air military operations, the flight information region (FIR) range under the aviation law and international practices," the spokesman said.
Kim said the expanded KADIZ was matched with the FIR of Incheon, the country's western port city, to avoid overlapping with those of neighboring countries.
On ROK's attempt to expand its air defense identification zone, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday the ROK's move should be in line with its national laws and international norms.
Hong said an ADIZ was not part of a country's territorial airspace and had nothing to do with the administrative rights over sea and airspace.
"We are ready to maintain communication with the ROK side under the condition of equality and mutual respect," Hong said.
South Korea said the new KADIZ would not restrict flights by international civilian airliners, or encroach on territorial air and interests of neighboring countries.
Kim said the South Korean government had provided sufficient explanations about the expansion to neighboring countries ahead of the announcement through defense and diplomacy channels.
The new KADIZ will take effect from Dec. 15.
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