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    South Korea to expand air defense identification zone

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    Originally published on December 9, 2013

    South Korea announced on Sunday (December 8) plans to expand its air defence identification zone on December 15 to partially overlap the zone China declared two weeks ago. China's zone raised tensions in the region, as its defence zone covered the area over the controversial Senkaku Islands and the Socotra Rock, which South Korea claims is part of its exclusive economic zone.

    Although South Korea's expansion would include two territorial islands to the south and the Socotra Rock, which it calls Ieodo, the defense ministry says the move, which will expand the zone south by 300 km, will not infringe on the sovereignty of neighboring countries. South Korea also controls a research station platform built atop the Socotra Rock.

    "We believe this will not significantly impact our relationships with China and with Japan as we try to work for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia," defence ministry head of policy Jang Hyuk said.

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