S Korea PM calls Japan's territorial claim "foolish"

13:00, April 13, 2010      

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South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan on Tuesday called Japan's renewed territorial claim over a set of disputed islets "foolish".

"Damaging sovereignty and self-esteem of a neighboring country to cover up its shameful past is a foolish act," Chung said in a speech commemorating the 91th anniversary of the establishment of the interim government on the Korean peninsula, with his barbs directed at Tokyo.

"The South Korean government will resolutely deal with any provocations against Dokdo," Chung added.

His remark is the latest in a series of similar denunciations coming after the Japanese government recently reaffirmed its claim to a set of outcroppings lying halfway between the two countries, known as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, by listing them as Japan's territory in its annual foreign policy report.

In a similar move that met with much public outcry here, Tokyo also recently approved elementary school textbooks that argue South Korea, which has maintained an effective control of the islets, "illegally occupies" them.

South Korea immediately protested what it sees as the latest display of Japan's territorial ambition, summoning a Japanese diplomat and warning negative influences it would have not only on bilateral relations but on Japan's future.

Source: Xinhua


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