Korea marks Dokdo Day; Navy, Coast Guard conduct exercise near islets
The Korean Navy and Coast Guard conducted a military exercise near the nation's Dokdo islets on Friday marking Dokdo Day.
The drill, involving the Navy's Underwater Demolition Team and the Air Force's F-15K combat jets, was held under a scenario in which other countries approach and illegally land on the rocky islets.
The drill is viewed as being a message to Japan, which claims sovereignty over Dokdo.
The Japanese foreign ministry launched a video campaign last week to promote its colonial claim to Korea's Dokdo islets.
The 89-second video, posted on the ministry website and YouTube, claims that Japan established territorial sovereignty over the islets in the 17th century and that the Japanese Cabinet made it official in 1905.
The video is titled "Takeshima," which is what the Japanese call Dokdo.
"In early 1900s, the fishing industry around Takeshima kicked into high gear. In 1905, the Japanese Cabinet reaffirmed its sovereignty over Takeshima."
Seoul's foreign ministry demanded Tokyo take down the video that promotes the Korea-controlled Dokdo islets as its own, but Japan won't budge.
"Regrettably, the Japanese government has refused to remove the video. Tokyo must immediately stop making claims that are historically inaccurate."
Seoul's foreign ministry spokesperson also stressed that Japan's anachronistic provocations are the reason bilateral relations remain in the doldrums.
Japan also claims sovereignty over Dokdo in its defense white paper and school textbooks.
The Korean government is mulling over to what level it should elevate its campaign to counter Tokyo's claims.
Experts say Korea needs to lay out why Dokdo is Korean territory based on international law in a simple and clear manner, just as Japan summarized its arguments in the short video.
Meanwhile, Japan plans to make another video by the end of the year promoting the term "Sea of Japan" for the body of water that divides Korea and Japan.
Seoul calls the water the "East Sea"."
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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