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Korea-Japan relations: Forecast Updated: 2013-10-25 17:35:27 KST

Korea-Japan relations: Forecast
So, on this Friday Korean forces carried out a drill aimed at repelling foreign landings on the Korea-controlled Dokdo Islets.
The drill, which included destroyers and combat jets, took place on what Korea has designated "Dokdo Day."

While not an official holiday, the appellation is meant to mark the day in 1900 when history says Emperor Gojong asserted dominion over the rocks.
This comes as tensions are flaring between Seoul and Tokyo over Japan's recent posting of a YouTube video that asserts its sovereignty over Dokdo.

What kind of a message do today's drills convey, and how can we interpret the latest moves by Japan claiming ownership over the islets?

Joining us live in the studio do give us some perspective and forecast of Korea-Japan relations is Dr. Bong Young-shik, senior research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Dr. Bong, thanks for coming back.



So, the Korean military staged a defensive drill in the waters around the Dokdo islets, involving naval destroyers, helicopters and F-15K combat jets.
Now, although the drills, the Navy and the Coast Guards explain, have been held previously and were nothing out of the ordinary they do come at a sensitive time.
AND for the first time, the Navy's Underwater Demolition Team took part with a UH-60 helicopter.
Put all of this into perspective for us.

Let's go back to Japan's YouTube video claiming sovereignty over the Dokdo Islets. Despite the Seoul goverment's objection, Tokyo flatly turned it down, saying it will CONTINUE to post more videos of the kind.
Is this part of the Abe administration's far-right policy?

Well, one thing that's clear is that it's definitely souring the already tense relations between the two countries. I mean, it's been nearly 10 months since President Park Geun-hye took office and yet, there hasn't been a bilateral summit between Seoul and Tokyo. Knowing this, why is Japan going ahead and creating more tension?

Another concern is the fact that the tiff over Japan's posting of such a YouTube video came three days after Korea did something similar. This could be viewed by the global community as a promotion battle between the two countries, no?

Yet there does not seem to be any concrete action by the Korean government to fix this problem with Japan. Why not and in your view, how should the Park administration move from here to deal with Korea-Japan relations?

Dr. Bong Young-shik, senior research fellow at Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies thanks as always for speaking with us this evening. We appreciate it.
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