Posted March. 09, 2005 22:29,
South Korea`s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki-moon said on March 9 that the Dokdo dispute is an issue related to Koreas territory and sovereignty, so it can be said that the issue takes precedence over Korea-Japan relations. He also said that he would deal sternly with the issue to protect our territory.
At a regular news briefing held at the ministry complex at Sejongno, Ban said that it is an unquestionable fact that Dokdo is the territory of Korea. Some Japanese politicians and government officials have failed to recognize history correctly, antagonizing the Korean people, Ban criticized.
I well know the peoples concern about a lukewarm response of the government to this, he added. He also said that he would take actions appropriate to the consent of Korean people, implying that he has stronger actions in mind if Japan continues to claim sovereignty over the islet.
As for the remark by the president yesterday regarding the strategic flexibility of the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK), Ban explained that the president made it clear that he fully acknowledged the necessity of the global military strategy of the U.S., but that he would not accept a situation where the USFK would be used to intervene in regional conflicts irregardless of Koreas will, which might directly link those conflicts to Koreas national fate and people as well.