Japan, S. Korea Ministers Trade Barbs over "Threatening Flight"

Politics

Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono engaged in a bitter war of words with his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, on Wednesday over what Seoul claims is a "threatening flight" by a Japanese patrol plane near a South Korean warship.

At their meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos, Kang told Kono that she is concerned over the flight by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane, saying that the incident was regrettable.

In response, Kono denied that the P-3C aircraft flew near the South Korean warship. The South Korean announcement was regrettable, he said.

Still, Kono and Kang agreed on the importance of close communication between the two countries' diplomatic authorities.

According to the announcement by South Korea's Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday, the incident occurred on the same day near Ieodo, a reef located south of South Korea's Jeju Island. The ministry said that the low-altitude, close-range flight was an obvious act of provocation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press