Pres. Lee calls surprise visit to Dokdo `provincial tour`

President Lee Myung-bak on Sunday is known to have called his surprise visit to Dokdo Friday “a provincial tour” for him.

He said this in a dinner with writer Kim Ju-yeong, writer Lee Moon-yeol and presidential chief of staff Ha Keum-yeol after going to Dokdo, adding that Japan`s critical response to his trip was unreasonable. This means the president could turn away from the “quiet diplomacy” used thus far on the Dokdo dispute.

“It would be unnecessary to irritate or confront Japan too much, but I do believe that the Japanese government hasn`t been sincere in its dealing with the Dokdo issue,” he said on his motivation behind the visit.

He mentioned several times his summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in December last year and said, “Though we spent more than an hour over the comfort women issue, Prime Minister Noda seemed to have no real interest in the matter. He kept digressing from the point. There was no follow-up at all (on the issue) by the Japanese government after the summit.”

President Lee reportedly expressed his regret a number of times about the careless attitude of the Japanese government on Dokdo. “I cannot understand how the Japanese government can say such a thing as filing a complaint with the International Court of Justice,” he said.

The Japanese daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Sunday said Japan decided to establish a body to deal with territorial disputes with Korea on Dokdo, China on the Senkaku Islands (called Daowidao in China), and Russia on four Kuril islands. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has begun discussing the matter with related government bodies.

[dongA.com] | Original News @ HERE
Date : 2012/08/12

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