Dispute escalates between South Korea and Japan over radar claims

By Wooyoung Lee   |   Jan. 21, 2019 at 10:46 PM
This combined image, taken from a video posted by the Defense Ministry on YouTube on Jan. 4, 2019, shows the 3,200-ton Gwanggaeto the Great destroyer (top) carrying out a humanitarian mission to rescue a North Korean boat in distress in international waters of the East Sea on Dec. 20. The ministry said Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force's P-1 plane (circled in yellow, below) was flying at a low altitude, which was "threatening" to the destroyer. The ministry has released video footage that it says refutes Japan's allegations that the destroyer intentionally directed its fire-control radar at the patrol plane. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- South Korea and Japan are locked in a feud involving a Japanese aircraft and a South Korean naval ship.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense released Monday an 18-second sound file, which it claims as the sound from the fire-control radar wave sent from a South Korea warship that "irritated" a Japanese patrol aircraft on "ordinary intelligence collection and warning and surveillance activities."

It also said Monday that it will terminate working-level talks with Seoul as it concluded that it is "difficult to continue to hold consultations with the ROK regarding this matter."

South Korea called the audio file "unidentified mechanical sound" and Japan didn't offer any other information to verify the sound, such as the detection date, angle and traits of electromagnetic waves, according to Choi Hyun-soo, a spokeswoman of Seoul's defense ministry.

"We have called on Japan to offer accurate evidence and agree to participate in a scientific and objective verification with experts of both countries," said Choi, at a briefing on Tuesday.

"We will continue our endeavors to strengthen security cooperation between South Korea and Japan along with our firm ROK-US joint defense alliances," she said.

Japan argued that a South Korean destroyer locked its fire-control radar on the Japanese P-1 patrol plane on Dec. 20.

South Korea said that the South Korean warship never targeted the Japanese aircraft with radar and was on a humanitarian operation to rescue a drifting North Korean fishing boat.

The dispute grew as the two countries released video records of the scene to back their positions. Japan released a video, which they claim as an evidence that backs South Korea's alleged radar target on the Japanese aircraft.

South Korea pointed out that the Japanese patrol plane approached to the South Korean warship in a "threatening manner," flying as low as 492 feet above the warship and approaching 1,640 feet in distance, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more UPI news and photos.
Loading ...