S. Korean lawmakers bash Japan for 'provocative' territorial claims
SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major political parties in unison warned Japan on Thursday of its renewed claim to Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo, vowing efforts to counter its "provocative" moves.
The recent warning was sparked by a YouTube video uploaded by Japan's foreign ministry, which features the country's claim to the rocky outcroppings, effectively controlled by South Korea.
Seoul's foreign ministry demanded Tokyo removed the video immediately, and later summoned an official of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul to lodge a protest over the video clip, lasting one minute and 27 seconds, which was made available on YouTube last week.
"The Japanese government carries out cyber provocations by spreading around the YouTube video that lays its claim to Dokdo," Rep. Hwang Woo-yea of the ruling Saenuri Party said during a party meeting.
He urged the Seoul government to deal with the issue sternly in cooperation with the international community and the "conscientious" people of Japan. He added that his party will push for "measures aimed at strengthening the country's effective control of the islets," such as increasing the relevant budget.
Rep. Kim Kwan-young, the chief spokesman of the main opposition Democratic Party, called on Japan to "deeply reflect on itself."
"We are witnessing the realization of concerns over the revival of Japan's militarism," Kim said. "The Park Geun-hye government should be more active in managing the issue to achieve its regional peace-promoting policy, dubbed as the Northeast Asia peace initiative," Kim added.
During a regular briefing, Seoul's foreign ministry repeated its demand that Japan remove the video, and urged its government and senior officials "to open their eyes to the truth."
"It is a great pity that the Japanese government has yet to delete the video. Once again, I urge Japan to immediately stop such thoughtless behavior," its spokesperson Cho Tai-young said during a regular briefing.
Stressing that a series of Japan's "false claims and thoughtless moves" hinders the relations between Seoul and Tokyo, he vowed "utmost efforts to let the international community know the bare fact that Dokdo is our territory."
South Korea deems Japan's ongoing territorial claims to the islets as denying Korea its independence from Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule. Seoul reclaimed sovereignty over its territory, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula, upon its independence.
Relations between the two neighbors have been unusually icy as of late, with Seoul condemning the right-wing Abe administration's repeated nationalistic moves.
A South Korean calligrapher shows support for the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo by performing in the southern port city of Pohang on Oct. 24, 2013. (Yonhap)
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