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North Korea slams Japan for territorial claims

North Korea condemned Japan for asserting sovereignty over the Dokdo Islets, which is currently under South Korean administration. File Photo by Yonhap
North Korea condemned Japan for asserting sovereignty over the Dokdo Islets, which is currently under South Korean administration. File Photo by Yonhap

Feb. 5 (UPI) -- North Korea lashed out at Japan for its claims over the disputed Dokdo Islets, also known as Takeshima in Japan.

Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA said Wednesday Japan is attempting to justify a "territorial provocation scheme" over the disputed islets, following a recent Japanese reassertion of claims over Dokdo in the East Sea. In January, Japan reopened a public museum in Tokyo with the aim of defending its sovereignty over the South Korea-administered territory, according to Yonhap.

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Japanese officials are "prattling on about South Korea's 'illegal occupation' of Dokdo," KCNA said.

"The purpose...is to justify the populist sentiment regarding territorial disputes and provoke the sentiment of fanatical militarists in the Japanese archipelago."

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Japan and the two Koreas have yet to resolve a long-running dispute over history and territorial claims. Japan colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

South Korean activists have condemned the museum and Japan's claims over Dokdo. The Voluntary Agency Network of Korea has also been gathering signatures for a petition to the International Olympic Committee, calling for a ban on the use of Japan's Rising Sun flag.

VANK said Wednesday the IOC has responded to the petition, according to Yonhap.

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The IOC said any problems that arise with the use of the Rising Sun flag at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be judged in context and on a case-by-case basis, according to VANK.

VANK recently stirred controversy after circulating "radioactive parody" posters, showing an athlete wearing head-to-toe protective gear and a mask and posting them near the Japanese embassy in Seoul.

South Korea has voiced opposition to Japan's decision to eventually release tainted waters from the ruined nuclear plant in Fukushima, a plan that is also being met with protests in Japan.

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Kazuhiko Oigawa, governor of Ibaraki Prefecture, said he "will not tolerate" the discharge of radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean, according to Tokyo Shimbun on Wednesday.

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