South Korean military drills around disputed island

Reading Time: 2 minutes

South Korea’s military began two days of drills on Sunday around a tiny island also claimed by Japan, prompting a protest from Tokyo just days after Seoul decided to scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with its neighbour amid worsening relations. The Japanese foreign ministry called the drills unacceptable.

Tensions in the region have spiked amid a worsening political and economic spat between South Korea and Japan, a string of missile launches by North Korea, and increasingly assertive military patrols by China and Russia.

South Korea announced the scrapping of an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan on Thursday, drawing a swift protest from Tokyo and deepening a decades-old dispute over wartime history that has hit trade and undercut security cooperation over North Korea.

South Korean armed forces hold defense drill on Dokdo Island
A handout photo made available by the South Korean Navy (ROK Navy) shows ROK Navy Sejong the Great (L) class Destroyer Guided-missile (991) along other vessels taking part in an exercise to defend the contested Dokdo Island, in the East Sea, 25 August 2019. EPA-EFE/SOUTH KOREAN NAVY HANDOUT

Tokyo and Seoul have long been at loggerheads over the sovereignty of the group of islets called Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, which lie about halfway between the East Asian neighbors in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

South Korean armed forces hold defense drill on Dokdo Island
A handout photo made available by the South Korean Navy (ROK Navy) shows South Korean armed forces holding an exercise to defend the contested Dokdo Island, in the East Sea. EPA-EFE/SOUTH KOREAN NAVY HANDOUT SOUTH KOREA OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Via Reuters

 

%d bloggers like this: