S Korean navy top brass cancels visit to Japan amid strained ties

29-Jan-2019 Intellasia | JapanToday | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The commander of the South Korean navy’s First Fleet has called off a planned trip to Japan next month amid strained bilateral ties over alleged low-altitude flybys by Japanese patrol planes, Yonhap News Agency reported Sunday.

Rear Adm. Kim Myung Soo was slated to visit the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Maizuru District in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, in February under a bilateral exchange programme in which senior officers visit each other’s countries in alternate years.

“It is our turn to send our navy officer to Japan” a military official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity. “But we have notified Japan of our decision not to send any this year.”

On Saturday, South Korean Defense minister Jeong Kyeong Doo denounced the recent alleged flybys near South Korean naval vessels as a “serious provocation” and ordered stern action by the navy against Japan over the matter.



South Korea alleges that Japanese patrol planes deliberately flew at low altitudes near South Korean naval vessels three times this month.

The accusations follow a spat between the two sides over whether a South Korean navy destroyer locked its fire-control radar on a Japanese patrol aircraft in the Sea of Japan last month.

Also Saturday, a Japanese government source said that the Japanese Defense Ministry plans to cancel a port call by a destroyer in South Korea this spring.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force was to dispatch several vessels including the Izumo destroyer to Busan to take part in a joint exercise to be held when defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its regional partners meet in the South Korean port city, the source said.




Category: Korea

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