South Korean FM Meets Top U.S. Envoy to Discuss Alliance and North KoreaSouth Korea Protests Japan’s Claims to Dokdo Islets

SEOUL – South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul convened with the United States' top diplomat in Seoul, Ambassador Philip Goldberg, on Tuesday to deliberate on enhancing the bilateral alliance and expanding trilateral cooperation with Japan, given the escalating threats from North Korea. According to a press release from the foreign ministry, Cho highlighted the evolution of the South Korea-U.S. alliance, which has reached an unprecedented level since the commemoration of its 70th anniversary last year, and proposed further advancements in the partnership.

According to Yonhap News Agency, acknowledging Cho's recent appointment, referenced the historical milestones achieved between the two nations, including a summit among the leaders of South Korea, the United States, and Japan at Camp David in August of the previous year. Both officials expressed their concerns over North Korea's continuous aggressive rhetoric and provocations, coupled with its refusal to engage in dialogue.

The discussions also touched upon the necessity for China to adopt a constructive stance in resolving the North Korean dilemma and the importance of bolstering trilateral cooperation with Japan. Cho and Goldberg concurred on the imperative to take decisive action against the recent military collaboration between North Korea and Russia, which poses a threat to regional and global peace and stability. This meeting marked Cho's inaugural discussion with Seoul-based ambassadors since taking office earlier in the month.

SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean government issued a strong protest against Japan's continued territorial claims to the Dokdo islets, escalating tensions between the two countries.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the protest came in response to remarks made by Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who reiterated Japan's claims to the islets, known as Takeshima in Japan, during a speech outlining this year's foreign policy objectives in a parliamentary session.

In a sharp rebuke, ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk stated, "The government strongly protests against the Japanese government's repeated unfair territorial claims over Dokdo, which is clearly our own territory historically, geographically, and under international law." Lim emphasized that Japan's claims have no bearing on South Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo, underscoring the islets' status as an integral part of Korean territory.

Lim also urged Japan to cease its assertions on Dokdo, warning that such actions would not contribute positively to the future development of bilateral relations. "We urge Japan to immediately withdraw the statement," he declared, signaling Seoul's firm stance on the issue.

Furthermore, the dispute over historical narratives intensified, with Lim addressing Japan's effort to register the former Sado gold mine as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The South Korean foreign ministry called for a comprehensive historical account that includes the forced mobilization of Koreans into hard labor during World War II, when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. "The Sado mine has a painful history of wartime forced mobilization. We reiterate that it is most important to reflect the entire history in order to discuss the registration," Lim stated, highlighting the broader historical grievances that continue to affect South Korea-Japan relations.

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