[Newsmaker] Seoul focuses on military elements in friction over Japanese warplanes


0

Seoul is focusing on the military aspects of inappropriate actions by Japanese military planes, in an apparent move to avoid the matter being politicized by Tokyo, following another close-proximity flight by a Japanese patrol plane.

On Wednesday, Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense revealed that Japan’s P-3 patrol plane flew at an altitude of 60 to 70 meters and 540 meters away from South Korean destroyer Daejoyeong in international waters near Ieodo, a submerged rock near Jeju Island. 

Military officers meet with lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday. Yonhap

On Thursday, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed the ruling Democratic Party, discussing the possibility of strengthening response measures.

According to reports, the JCS raised the possibility of increasing the distance at which warnings are issued to approaching planes, and deploying helicopters onboard warships when foreign military aircraft’s flights are deemed threatening.

The briefing focused on military measures, in line with the Defense Ministry’s position that the issue will not be handled as a political one.

In disclosing the latest incident Wednesday, the ministry changed its initial plans for Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo to brief the media, instead choosing Suh Wook, chief director of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Who makes an announcement has symbolism, and the chief director of operations was chosen, as the issue is related to a military response and operational importance,” Defense Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said, adding that the ministry will not be handling the matter politically.

“It is a technical matter, and involves fundamental and procedural elements in dealing with a friendly nation, so the position (of the ministry) is to resolve the issue based on unbiased and scientific evidence.”

Wednesday’s incident was the fourth involving a Japanese military plane approaching South Korean warships at a low altitude since Dec. 20. Seoul has branded the flights as threatening, and called for Tokyo’s apology and to ensure such incidents are not repeated.

Following the first incident, in which Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force’s P-1 patrol aircraft approached the 3,200-ton Gwanggaeto the Great destroyer, Japan denied the claims and accused the South Korean warship of locking its fire-control on the aircraft.

Seoul denied the accusation, and the two sides responded by releasing videos and audio files to support their claims.

Japan maintains the same stance on Wednesday’s incident, with top officials taking issue with Seoul’s response.

“I would like to request composed and appropriate response (from Seoul),” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday, saying that Seoul’s announcement was “regretful.”

“The Ministry of Defense has reported that the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s patrol plane did not fly as South Korea claims, and that the flight was appropriate.”

Regarding the possibility of releasing Japan’s records of the flight, Suga simply stated that defense authorities of the two countries need to “seek proper communication.”

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya had stated Wednesday that the Japanese military has records of the flight and that the flight was in accordance with international law.

By Choi He-suk ([email protected])

Source : koreaherald


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format