About 40 South Koreans are swimming towards disputed group of islands in the Sea of Japan as a show of support for their country’s sovereignty claims.
They started the long-distance swim on Monday morning from Gyeonsangbuk-do, on South Korea’s east coast. The swimmers include students from the swimming club at Korea National Sport University, and South Korean singer Kim Jang-hoon.
They plan to swim in turns 220 kilometers to the islands and arrive on Wednesday, the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan’s colonial rule in 1945. Both countries claim sovereignty over the area, known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.
Footage of the swim and the group arriving will be shown on the Internet.
The swim comes amid soured bilateral relations following the visit of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to the area last week.
The Japanese government is considering taking legal action at the International Court of Justice over the dispute, while there have been renewed calls in South Korea for stronger territorial claims.