South Korea announced its expansion of air patrol over a portion of the East China Sea also claimed by China and Japan.
For the first time in 62 years, South Korea widened its control to include an area referred to as Ieodo in South Korea and Suyan Rock in China, The New York Times reports. The submerged reef, which is believed to contain natural gas and mineral deposits, is under South Korea’s control, but China also claims it.
The announcement follows China’s move to broaden its air defense on Nov. 23, covering a set of islands claimed by both China and Japan. Japan and South Korea rejected the announcement.
The policing of air space underscores historical and territorial disputes between China, South Korea and Japan, heightening the possibility of military clash.
South Korea said it will implement its new zone in a week. Neither China or Japan have immediately responded.