South Korea's defense ministry has expressed dismay at Japan's release Friday afternoon of an edited video.
The video contains only conversations between Japanese pilots and footage shot from the Japanese aircraft, without providing any substantial evidence of the frequencies used by the radar in question, even though that could help Japan prove its claims.
South Korea's defense ministry stressed that the destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great was on a normal rescue mission, reiterating that, unlike Japan has said, it did not use its targeting radar, the STIR 180, but a different one, the MW-08, which is used for searching.
The ministry also pointed out that Japan has not explained why its plane was circling the Korean destroyer at such a low altitude and in a menacing way in the first place.
"It is very disappointing that a Japanese patrol aircraft was conducting a low-altitude flight that could be threatening to a South Korean ship focused on a humanitarian rescue. The video released by Japan simply contains scenes of the plane circling over the sea and conversations between pilots. It does not provide objective evidence for Japan's claim that the fire-control radar was aimed at the plane."
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Officials from Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the Japanese aircraft flew at an altitude of only around 150 meters above the South Korean ship,.. which is the lowest such an aircraft can fly safely.
It is very unusual for a patrol aircraft to get so close to another country's ship, which is why the ship used the optical camera attached to the radar to observe it.
South Korea's defense ministry, however, has stressed that despite Japan's disappointing claims it will maintain a cooperative defense partnership with Japan.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.