Korean Govt. to Respond to Japanese PM's Letter
The Korean government is considering responding to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's letter that expressed Tokyo's regret over President Lee Myung-bak's visit to the Dokdo islets earlier this month.
If Seoul is to send an official reply to Japan, the Korean government is expected to reiterate its stance on the territorial issue and criticize Japan's claim over the islets that are controlled by Korea.
According to government officials in Seoul on Sunday, it would be diplomatically inappropriate to simply ignore or return the Japanese Prime Minister's letter.
They added that if the Korean government doesn't take any action, it might give a false impression that Seoul is actually admitting Tokyo's territorial claim.
The government is expected to make a decision in a couple of days after taking into account advice given by international law experts.
However, even if Korea sends a reply to the Japanese government, it will be after Japan's scheduled Cabinet meeting on Tuesday where Japanese officials will discuss taking the Dokdo issue to the International Court of Justice, and whether to end or reduce currency swap arrangements with Korea.
Meanwhile, a stone monument, with the name "Dokdo" in the handwriting of President Lee inscribed on it, was unveiled on the islets on Sunday.
Korea's Minister of Public Administration and Security Maeng Hyung-kyu, who attended the ceremony, stressed that the monument will be a symbol of Korea's sovereign rights and the spirit that will protect the Dokdo islets.
The monument is set up in front of a building where police officers are stationed to guard the islets.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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