SEOUL, The defense ministry denied a Japanese news report Monday that Seoul has notified Tokyo of its detailed guidelines on fire-control radar operations in case of low-altitude flybys by Japanese maritime aircraft.

In December, Japan claimed that a South Korean warship locked fire-control radar on its maritime patrol aircraft in the neighbors' overlapping exclusive economic zones, but Seoul has said the warship never used any tracking radar as it was on a mission to rescue a North Korean fishing boat that was drifting in the East Sea.

Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Monday that the Seoul government in January outlined for Japan Seoul's radar operation guidelines, which stipulate that South Korea shall direct its radar at a Japanese plane should it come as close as 3 nautical miles, or around 5.5 kilometers.

"We've not revealed any of our military manuals, including detailed operational procedures, to Japan," an official at the Seoul ministry said.

Such a news report appears to be caused by misunderstandings about Seoul's warnings to the Japanese side at the height of the conflict, he noted.

"In order to prevent any possible accidental naval clashes between the two sides, we stressed our policy stance and possible military responses in case of any recurrence when a defense attache from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul was called in," he said, adding that such a low-altitude flight by a Japanese warplane close to a South Korean warship constitutes a breach of international practices.

The radar row significantly soured military relations between the two countries, but there have been signs of improvement in recent weeks as officials of the two nations reportedly met earlier this month to discuss the agenda for next month's annual trilateral security talks also involving the United States.

Source: Yonhap news Agency