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Parties of 2 Koreas denounce Japan over islet row

Parties of 2 Koreas denounce Japan over islet row

Small political parties from the two Koreas criticized Japan on Friday over its claim to islets at the center of a territorial dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.
South Korea's minority Democratic Labor Party and North Korea's Social Democratic Party said in a rare joint statement that they regard the Japanese claim as "an intolerable challenge to the sovereignty and dignity of the Korean nation."
Japan said in July that a government teaching manual would refer to the country's right to the disputed islets located roughly halfway between South Korea and Japan, prompting strong protests from Seoul.
The nearly uninhabitable outcroppings are currently under South Korean control, but Tokyo has repeatedly asserted its claim to sovereignty.
North Korea's state media have joined South Korean media, politicians and ordinary citizens in denouncing Japan over the dispute.
Friday's statement, carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency and posted on the Web site of the South Korean party, appealed to the strong sense of Korean nationalism shared by both sides _ still technically at war _ in relation to Japan.
"The Korean nation is no longer the weak nation it was in the past" when Japan colonized the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, the statement said.
"If Japan tries to seize even an inch of the territory of Korea again, oblivious of its inglorious past, all Koreans in the North and South and abroad will throw Japan into the bottomless abyss of ruin by their concerted efforts," it said.
The Democratic Labor Party holds five seats in South Korea's 299-member National Assembly. The North Korean party is a minor party affiliated with the North's ruling Workers' Party.
The two Koreas remain technically at war as no peace treaty was concluded after the 1950-53 Korean War.
Despite years of opening up, inter-Korean relations have been strained most of this year, after North Korea cut off key government-level dialogue after a pro-U.S., conservative government was inaugurated in Seoul in February.
Ties further soured when a North Korean army guard fatally shot a South Korean tourist who allegedly entered a restricted military area at a North Korean mountain resort last month.
North Korea this week blasted South Korea and its key ally, the United States, over annual joint military exercises, which it labels practice for an invasion.


Updated : 2020-12-04 07:49 GMT+08:00