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Korea to finalize plans to expand air defense zone this week

Updated: 2013-12-04 AM 6:27:38 (KST)
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The government will finalize plans to redraw Korea's Air Defense Identification Zone by the end of this week.
An unnamed senior defense ministry official said Tuesday that Korea's top security advisers will meet later this week to confirm the details of the new zone.
Once an agreement is reached, he said neighboring countries will be notified of the plan before a formal announcement is made.
The move follows Beijing's announcement of its air defense zone last month, which has escalated military tensions in Northeast Asia.
The Chinese zone overlaps with one set by Japan, and covers disputed islands that are controlled by Japan.
It also partly overlaps with Korea's air defense zone and the aerial space above Ieodo, a submerged rocky mass lying in exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea held by the two countries.
Korea is now considering expanding its air defense zone further south to cover Ieodo.
Seoul's upcoming announcement is expected to further raise tensions with neighboring nations.
And with Washington already promising Tokyo full support in countering Beijing's latest declaration, Seoul's decision may test the Korea-U.S. alliance.
China's air defense zone will be one of the key issues addressed by American Vice President Joe Biden during his East Asia tour this week.
The White House said that Biden will express U.S. concerns to officials in Beijing, while also conferring with its allies in Korea and Japan.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.

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