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Where? Korea / Japan
When? October 2011

Korea and Japan, two colourful Asian countries, and with a huge variety of aviation subjects. With some airshows going on in a narrow timeframe a nice round-trip was worked out that should hopefully bring some images from these two Air Forces back. Time to start...

The Yin and Yang are represented by the red and blue taegeuk in the centre of South Korea's national flag, representing a "continuous movement within infinity, the two merging as one", at least according to Wikipedia. Or heaven and earth by the blue and red colour. To many it is of course also a sign of (mental) balance and calmness, but looking at the omni-present tensions with its neighbour North Korea the reality is different. It is thus more than obvious that the Korean military is very restricted and secretive, so more or less the only chance to see some RoKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) aircraft is the bi-annual ADEX exposition at Seoul.

 Lumix 1120162 700 470 90
 Lumix 1120162 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120172 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120175 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120178 100 67 85

The ADEX (Aerospace and Defence Exhibition) takes place at the Sinchonri (K-16) Air Base East of Seoul and serves mainly as a showcase for the local defence industry.

The most part of the photos from the Seoul Airshow can be found HERE, this is only a short summary to show the extent and variety of aircraft seen there:

Seoul ADEX So 9603 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX So 9668 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9601 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9603 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9605 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9654 100 67 85
Zeoul ADEX So 9561 100 67 85
ADEX Fly By 9269 700 470 90
ADEX Fly By 9269 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8146 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8154 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8380 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9279 100 67 85
ADEX Fly By 9051 700 470 90
ADEX Fly By 9051 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8098 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8112 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8354 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9165 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9175 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX T 50 9191 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX T 50 9191 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX T 50 9219 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8423 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8428 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8433 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8452 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8721 700 470 90
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8721 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8729 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8736 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8751 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8780 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8788 100 67 85
ADEX Black Eagles 9586 700 470 90
ADEX Black Eagles 9586 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9522 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9551 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9570 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9578 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9580 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX Static 8202 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX Static 8202 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8075 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8167 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8171 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8172 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8198 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8206 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8291 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8442 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8446 100 67 85

Whereas the show at Seoul offered a quite open access to RoKAF hardware, the situation in the rest of country is very different.

 Lumix 1120240 700 470 90
 Lumix 1120240 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120241 100 67 85
Lumix 1120238 100 67 85

Mainly flying imported and locally licence-build (K)F-16s and (K)F-5s the RoKAF employs a huge variety of aircraft, many of which could be seen at the Seoul and Osan airshows. Furthermore the trusted F-4 Phantom II is still in service, flown as the F-4E in the air-air and air-ground role as well as still some RF-4C as a reconnaissance asset. These latter ones however are to be put out of service in 2012 and to be replaced by Recce-pod equipped F-16s.

Nonetheless, the view in the sky every once a while reveals some nice sights:

Wonju F 5 8917 700 470 90
Wonju F 5 8917 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8921 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8933 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8950 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9471 700 470 90
Cheongju F 4E 9471 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9476 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9485 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9488 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9504 100 67 85
ACheongju F 4E 9536 700 470 90
ACheongju F 4E 9536 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9512 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9546 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9549 100 67 85
Daegu F 15K 9421 700 470 90
Daegu F 15K 9421 100 67 85
Daegu F 15K 9441 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9563 700 470 90
Suwon F 5 9563 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9567 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9583 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9587 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9593 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9625 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9660 700 470 90
Suwon RF 4C 9660 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9687 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9708 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9723 100 67 85
ZSuwon RF 4C 9650 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8917 700 470 90
Wonju F 5 8917 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8921 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8933 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8950 100 67 85

Being in that part of Asia Japan is not far to go and so there was a small detour planned around that trip to Korea. Before that however a short stop was done at Seoul's International Incheon airport, which offers a very nice visitors deck on the East side of the airfield. A little bit elevated there is an excellent view of the airport and nice light in the evening. Unfortunately the sun was hidden behind clouds that day:

 Lumix 1120189 700 470 90
 Lumix 1120189 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120191 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120200 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120223 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120287 700 470 90
 Lumix 1120287 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9684 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9739 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9740 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9786 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9802 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9685 700 470 90
Incheon 06 Incheon 9685 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9692 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9709 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9758 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9776 100 67 85
Incheon Nacht 9835 100 67 85

Finding a convenient flight from Seoul to Tokyo was no problem and after a short hop I arrived in Japan.

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