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Opposition Party Blasts Japan`s Latest Dokdo Claim

Posted July. 16, 2008 08:17,   


The floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party blasted Japan yesterday for describing the Dokdo islets as Japanese territory in a middle school handbook.

“This matter will throw cold water on the peace of Northeast Asia and is a historical offense that can never be acceptable” Won Hye-young said in a speech to the negotiating body of the National Assembly. “We strongly condemn Japan’s arrogant violation of Korea’s territorial sovereignty.”

“What is more shocking is a series of reports by Kyodo News and NHK that Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told President Lee Myung-bak of the decision to mark Dokdo as Japanese territory. If true, this is like a neighbor asking you to wait after he says he’ll register your home as his own.”

He also said, “On territorial sovereignty, Korea should respond in a bipartisan manner and on a national level. If diplomatic ineptness and the mistakes of the Lee administration, however, gave even the slightest excuse for Japan’s provocation, President Lee will not be able to avoid responsibility.”

On the shooting death of a South Korean tourist in North Korea’s Mount Geumgang, Won said, “I express my strong regret to North Korean authorities. The North should sincerely cooperate (in a joint investigation of the incident).”

“Under the incumbent administration (in South Korea), inter-Korean relations are returning to that of the Cold War era. I urge the government to make a major transition toward inter-Korean reconciliation and economic cooperation.”

Won also said the administration is guilty of three wrongs: the incorrect understanding of a “lost decade” spanning the two previous liberal administrations; the president’s outdated leadership; and the wrong policy direction. He also urged Seoul to conduct a major personnel reshuffle.

“Old boys are good, but old ways are not,” he said. “All old bottles and old wine should be replaced. Starting with the economy team that is most responsible for causing a crisis in the people’s livelihood, the Cabinet should be entirely reorganized.”

Won also demanded punishment for those who suppressed the anti-U.S. beef candlelight vigils and guaranteed neutrality in broadcasting.