Jeong tells Navy to get tough on Japan’s flybys

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Jeong tells Navy to get tough on Japan’s flybys

South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo has instructed the Navy to sternly deal with the repeated low-altitude flybys by Japanese warplanes, describing them as “a serious provocation by an ally,” his ministry said Saturday.

He made the remarks during an unscheduled visit to the Fleet Command in the southern port city of Busan, the ministry said later in a release.

The minister was briefed on the details regarding multiple close-range flights by Japanese maritime patrol planes toward South Korean destroyers in recent weeks.

South Korea and Japan are embroiled in a military spat, initially sparked after Tokyo accused a Korean warship of locking its fire-control radar on its patrol aircraft on Dec. 20.

Seoul has refuted the claim, saying the warship was on a rescue mission to save a North Korean vessel.

The dispute escalated after Japanese aircrafts repeatedly flew near Korean ships on three separate incidents following the December case.

The defense chief strongly denounced Japan for its multiple flybys, defining them as “very threatening behavior that no navy of any country can tolerate.”

He also condemned the ally for not admitting to its actions, saying that making false accusations against Korea instead is “preposterous words and deeds.”

The minister ordered the Navy’s stern action against Japan over the matter, as well as calling for a perfect and balanced readiness posture in case of various circumstances, the ministry added.

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