The tiny islets caught in a South Korea-Japan storm
Rocky islets between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, are again at the center of a bitter dispute between Seoul and Tokyo. This week, South Korea wrapped up its two-day “East Sea Territory Protection Exercise,” the largest-ever version of the Dokdo Defense Drills that have been taking place twice a year since 1986, usually in June and December. But the exercise came just after Seoul announced it wouldn’t be renewing a military intelligence sharing agreement with Tokyo, so Japan would have been extra sensitive as it’s never happy about the Dokdo drills anyway – and that’s because it claims the islets as Japanese territory and calls them Takeshima. Not only is this a bitter territorial dispute, but it has come to represent the unhealed rift between the two sides since Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II.
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