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Gov’t Warns of Stern Response to Japan`s Dokdo Claim

Posted July. 15, 2008 07:52,   


Saying Japan’s fresh claim to the Dokdo islets in a school handbook is a territorial violation, Korea yesterday temporarily recalled its ambassador to Japan Kwon Chul-hyun and decided to exercise effective control over the islets.

Seoul will also see how a trilateral summit unfolds with China and Japan in September before taking further action.

Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan quoted President Lee Myung-bak as saying, “Given the agreement with the Japanese prime minister to build future-oriented bilateral relations while facing history as is, I cannot but express deep disappointment and regret. This is not only a history issue, but one related to territorial sovereignty that cannot be an object of dispute.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said, “The Korean government makes it clear once again that Dokdo is Korean territory, which is obvious when referring to history, geography and international law. Again, we’ll sternly deal with any attempt to undermine our sovereignty over the islets.”

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan also summoned Japanese Ambassador to Korea Toshinori Shigeie to file a protest and express regret. Ambassador Kwon will reportedly be called back to Korea after expressing protest to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

A key source at the presidential office in Seoul said, “Japan’s description of Dokdo as its territory is a violation of a bilateral agreement to promote forward-looking Korea-Japan relations. The future of bilateral ties hinges on Japan’s action from now on.”

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