Press Releases

Regarding the incident of an ROK naval vessel directing its fire-control radar at an MSDF patrol aircraft

December 25, 2018
Ministry of Defense

The original text is in Japanese.

On Friday, December 21, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) made a public announcement to regarding the incident occurred on Thursday, December 20 at around 3 p.m. (JST), an ROK Navy's Gwanggaeto-daewang class destroyer directed a fire-control radar at a fixed-wing patrol aircraft (P-1) belonging to the Fleet Air Wing 4 of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) (Atsugi) off the coast of the Noto Peninsula. Yesterday, the ROK Ministry of National Defense published its opinion regarding this case, which the MOD believes includes a misunderstanding regarding some of the facts.
First of all, after the radar irradiation incident occurred on Thursday, December 20, the MOD conducted an analysis of the frequency band, radio field intensity, etc. emitted from the destroyer based on the data collected by the MSDF P-1's equipment and confirmed that the MSDF P-1 was hit multiple times continuously over a certain period by electromagnetic waves that are unique to fire-control radars.
The MSDF P-1 was also flying at a certain altitude and distance from the destroyer in compliance with international law and the related Japanese laws and regulations, and it is not true that it flew at a low altitude over the destroyer.
Moreover, the MSDF P-1 called out "KOREA SOUTH NAVAL SHIP, HULL NUMBER 971" three times in English using three frequencies in international VHF (156.8MHz) and emergency frequencies (121.5MHz and 243MHz) in an attempt to confirm the intent of the radar irradiation.
It is extremely regrettable that this incident occurred, and we will firmly request the ROK side to prevent the recurrence of such incidents. Such incidents should not be allowed to harm cooperation between the defense authorities of Japan and ROK, and we intend to hold the necessary consultations between the two defense authorities.