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S. Korea urges Japan to drop proposal to refer dispute to int'l court


16:00, August 21, 2012

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Tuesday renewed its call on Japan to withdraw its proposal to refer their longstanding territorial dispute over a set of islets to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), calling the move "regrettable".

"We strongly urge (Japan) to immediately stop its ungrounded territorial claims" over the South Korean-controlled islets, known as Dokdo here and Takeshima in Japan, Seoul's foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tae-young told reporters.

"Dokdo is South Korea's territory historically, geographically and by international law, and is not an area in dispute," Cho added.

The latest call came as Tokyo plans to send Seoul a diplomatic document formally suggesting the two sides bring the dispute to the Hague-based court.

The move is seen as a response to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's high-profile visit to the islets earlier this month, which prompted strong protests from Japan.

Officials here have repeatedly dismissed Japan's proposal, the third such proposal following two botched attempts in 1954 and 1962, saying it is "not even worthy of consideration".
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