Jan. 24 (UPI) -- South Korea disclosed five images taken from videos of a "threatening" low-altitude flight on Wednesday of a Japanese aircraft, the third flight of its kind in January.
South Korea's defense ministry showed the photos to local reporters and called the Japanese action "provocative." Seoul said a Japanese P-1 maritime patrol plane flew by a 4,500-ton South Korean destroyer at a low altitude of 60 to 70 meters, and at a distance of less than 600 meters, Yonhap reported.
A South Korean military source told Yonhap the altitude and data from radar are "objective and scientific evidence" and cannot be disputed.
"Machines do not lie," the source said.
In Tokyo, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya defended his country's self-defense forces, and said they have been patrolling appropriately, according to NHK.
The Japanese planes pose no threat to South Korean navy ships, Iwaya said. He did not deny the Japanese aircraft conducted a low-altitude flight.
It is unclear why Japan is repeatedly undertaking low-altitude flights that have caused controversy in Seoul, but according to Yonhap, analysts say the flights could be being "carried out deliberately" to push the Korean navy to target the aircraft with fire-control radar.
The flight also comes after Iwaya told reporters on Tuesday Japan would no longer press Seoul on the first incident, citing the need for Japan to cooperate with South Korea to defend against regional threats.
Seoul's Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo met with U.S. Forces Korea Commander Gen. Robert Abrams on Thursday, but the radar incident may not have been discussed.
The defense ministry said various issues were addressed but the radar incident is a matter to "be resolved between Korea and Japan."
The two countries also have long-running disputes over historical issues, including the Korean "comfort women" forced to serve in Japanese wartime brothels during World War II.