S. Korean military held defense drills near Dokdo in June: source

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : August 19, 2013, 14:51 | Updated : August 19, 2013, 14:51
The South Korean military conducted drills in waters near the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo in June to defend the rocky islets, a government source said Thursday.

"The Navy, under the operational control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carried out defense exercises in late June under a scenario that external forces raid to land on the islets," the source said on condition of anonymity.

About 10 warships, including a 3,200-ton-class destroyer and a 1,200-ton-class submarine, P-3C maritime patrol aircraft and F-15K jet fighters participated in the exercises, he said. Marines, however, did not participate in the drills for the second consecutive year this year.

The military holds exercises to defend Dokdo once or twice a year.

Japan has long claimed that Dokdo off Korea's east coast is its territory, in an apparent attempt to take the matter to an international court with a final goal of eventually taking over the islets.

By Ayaka Erin Tobari
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