S. Korea angers Japan with plan to visit disputed islands

By REUTERS
August 10, 2012 06:59

 
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SEOUL) - South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is scheduled to visit a set of remote islands on Friday, angering neighbor Japan which also lays claims to territory believed to contain frozen natural gas deposits that could be worth billions of dollars.

South Korea controls the islands with a coast guard presence and plans to beef up maritime research in an area also rich in marine life.

Lee is the first leader of South Korea to make the trip to the islands that have been a persistent irritant in relations between the two countries even after they moved on from Japan's colonial occupation to develop flourishing commercial ties.

Japan swiftly issued a terse warning over islands, known as Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, which lie equidistant between the two mainlands.

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