South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se says a military conflict could be on the cards in Northeast Asia,.. a region plagued by historical, regional and security-related tensions.
Speaking at the International Peace Institute in New York City on Tuesday,.. Yun expressed his grave concern over the increasing rivalry in Northeast Asia.
He noted China's emerging power, Japan's aim to make a comeback as a regional power,.. and Russia taking a tougher stance against the West.
Minister Yun said this, coupled with North Korea's ongoing nuclear threats,.. is creating serious changes to the geopolitical sphere of Northeast Asia as well as to the Korean peninsula.
The foreign minister's words of warning come as Japan tries to secure more military power.
On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a new partnership agreement with NATO that will deepen Tokyo's cooperation with the Western military alliance, in areas including counter-piracy and humanitarian assistance.
Speaking to ambassadors from the 28 NATO nations in Brussels, Abe also called for increased military freedom in Northeast Asia.
Expressing concern over China's heavy military spending, the Japanese leader reiterated his wish to exercise the right to defend an ally under armed attack.
Under the current interpretation of the Constitution imposed after the Second World War,.. Japan is unable to settle international disputes using military force even if it comes under attack.
Abe said a panel of security experts is currently looking into changing this, with the government expected to come up with a policy on global peace-keeping operations.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.