Saenuri leaders visit Dokdo for national security

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Saenuri leaders visit Dokdo for national security

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Senior members of the ruling Saenuri Party visited South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo Thursday, party officials said, in the latest of a series of moves to show they view national security as a top priority ahead of the presidential campaign.

Party chairman Hwang Woo-yea, floor leader Lee Hahn-koo and five other senior party members headed to the East Sea islets by helicopter to meet the Coast Guard unit guarding the islets and look around facilities there, Hwang’s office said.

The latest tour comes after the Saenuri leadership visited a series of key security posts, including the Demilitarized Zone, the border island of Baengnyeong and a military boot camp in an apparent bid to highlight their pledge on strong national defense ahead of the December race.

The conservative party has pushed to oust two pro-North Korea lawmakers of a progressive minor party over their past activities sympathizing with Pyongyang. The two are also under growing pressure to step down over their involvement in an alleged primary fraud in the April legislative elections.

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Dokdo, which lies closer to South Korea in the body of water that divides the Korean Peninsula and Japan, has long been a thorn in the relations between the two countries. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets, effectively controlling them.

South Korea rejects the Japanese claim to Dokdo as nonsense because the country regained its independence from Japanese colonial rule and reclaimed sovereignty over its territories, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula.

Yonhap

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