Updated: 06/20/2014 11:27 | By Agence France-Presse

South Korea holds island live-fire drill, ignores Japan protest

The South Korean navy held a rare live-fire drill near a set of disputed islands on Friday, brushing off angry protests from co-claimant Japan, which called the exercises "deplorable".


South Korea holds island live-fire drill, ignores Japan protest

In this file photo, a South Korean marine is seen standing on a beach as amphibious assault vehicles approach the seashore, during a drill southeast of Seoul, on March 31, 2014 - by Jung Yeon-Je

The defence ministry said the drill around the Seoul-controlled islets, called Dokdo by the South and Takeshima by Japan, were part of the military's "regular" national defence training.

The navy and coastguard have staged joint exercises near Dokdo many times, but a live-fire drill is rare and it prompted an angry response from Japan.

"Japan can never accept the drill given its position on Takeshima, and so we strongly demanded that the South Korean government stop its plans," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.

Suga, the government's top spokesman, said the decision to push ahead with the exercises was "extremely deplorable".

Seoul dismissed the Japanese protests out of hand.

"This is a military drill to bolster the defence of the Republic of Korea, so any outside demand or interference is not a subject for consideration," ministry spokesman Wi Yong-Seop said.

"The drill is now being carried out as scheduled," Wi said.

The rocky outcrops have been the subject of a bitter and decades-old territorial dispute between the two neighbours.

The row escalated in 2012 following a surprise Dokdo visit by then South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak. 

Relations between the South and Japan are currently at their lowest ebb for years, mired in emotive disputes linked to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, including the islet dispute.

Many South Koreans believe Japan has failed to properly atone for abuses carried out during the Japanese occupation.

The live-fire drill came as Japan began a controversial review of its landmark 1993 apology over the use of many South Korean and Chinese women as wartime sex slaves for its troops.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。