Malaysian students defend South Korea claims to 'Dokdo' islets

By Elizabeth Shim
Malaysian students defend South Korea claims to 'Dokdo' islets
South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook (C) poses for a photo with a group of South Korean children at a South Korean school in the town of Cyberjaya, Malaysia, on Wednesday. The first lady visited a Malaysian science high school on Thursday. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

SEOUL, March 14 (UPI) -- Students in Malaysia raised the issue of a group of disputed islets located between South Korea and Japan, during a visit by the South Korean first lady.

Kim Jung-sook, who is in Malaysia with President Moon Jae-in, listened to the remarks while visiting Seri Puteri Science Secondary School in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, News 1 reported.


The Malaysian students, who are taking Korean as a foreign language, listened to fellow classmates discuss Dokdo, also known as Takeshima in Japan.

As Kim listened to the presentation, the students said, "Although [Dokdo] is Korean territory, Japan insists it belongs to them."

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They also said the islets are a "sensitive" issue between the two countries. Kim maintained silence while the statements were made at the school, according to the report.

The first lady did say the school is a "high-class" institution, and that graduates of the school are destined to go far in life.

The all-women's school would produce Malaysia's women leaders, Kim also said, adding she looked forward to the day Malaysians will be able to work in Korea and build good relations bilaterally.

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Dokdo is administered by South Korea, but Japan has said the islets are part of Shimane Prefecture.

South Korea's foreign ministry publishes materials on Dokdo to promote Seoul's claims over the rocks and condemn Japan's "forcible occupation" of the islets during colonial times.

In meetings with Malaysian officials and business executives, President Moon said Malaysia is a crucial partner for South Korean companies, Yonhap reported Thursday.

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Moon said Kuala Lumpur is an important partner in Seoul's New Southern Policy toward ASEAN member states.

"As both countries forged relations for 60 years, they have become friends," Moon said.

More than 80 South Korean companies are in the Seoul-led delegation, meeting with trade officials and Malaysian business executives, according to the report.

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