South Korea Drills near Dokdo

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : September 7, 2012, 15:59 | Updated : September 7, 2012, 15:59
South Korea‘s coast guard is leading military exercises near islands also claimed by Japan, amid ongoing tension over the territorial row. The operation near islands known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan also involves the army, navy and air force, South Korean media said.

Tensions have risen since a visit to the islands by South Korea’s leader.

Japan wants international arbitration over the islands, but South Korea has rejected the proposal. Last month Japan briefly recalled its ambassador to Seoul in protest over a surprise visit to the islands by President Lee Myung-bak.

South Korea, which controls the islands, has maintained a small police force there since 1954.

The row between the two countries over the islands - which are roughly equidistant from both - has flared sporadically in recent years, amid lingering antipathy over historical issues.

Japan is also embroiled in another territorial row with China in the East China Sea. Both countries claim islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Leaders of all three nations are due at the Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vladivostock this weekend.

However, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was unlikely to hold bilateral meetings with Chinese and South Korean counterparts.

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