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No-visa entry policy during transit in S. Korea

I'm a Chinese studying in the UK and planning to visit South Korea for an academic workshop and some sightseeing and then visit China. There is an visa exemption scheme for Chinese nationals with a UK visa who travel by the route UK-Korea-China to stay in Korea for up to 30 days, see e.g. section 1.A.ii.

However note that a return flight from China to Korea, i.e. a trip from China to Korea then back to China does not count.

Does the flight from UK to Korea have to be direct?

For example, if the flight to Korea is operated by one single airline and has a stop in China, does that invalidate the condition even though I don't enter China before arriving in Korea?