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Seoul's NSC notes seriousness of 'threatening' flight by Japanese aircraft

All Headlines 17:54 January 03, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's National Security Council (NSC) decided Thursday to take steps, if necessary, against what it said may have been a "serious" violation of safety protocols or even a threat by a Japanese warplane against a South Korean naval ship engaged in a rescue operation.

The decision came at a NSC meeting held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"The members (of NSC) discussed the seriousness of the incident where a Japanese patrol aircraft staged a close flyby at a low altitude while our ship was in an urgent situation to rescue a drifting North Korean fishing boat in the East Sea," Cheong Wa Dae said in a press release.

The NSC members agreed to take "necessary measures based on accurate facts," it added.

The decision comes amid a heated debate over who is at fault.

Tokyo has accused the South Korean naval ship of targeting its Self-Defense Forces aircraft with fire-control radar, also releasing a 13-minute video clip of the encounter taken by the Japanese aircraft last month.

The video footage, however, is believed to have failed to provide any hard evidence of the aircraft being targeted by radar while it instead seemed to prove Seoul's earlier claim that the Japanese aircraft flew too close to the South Korean ship in a "threatening" manner.

Seoul's Defense Ministry has repeatedly expressed regrets against Japan for making false claims while demanding a formal apology for the Japanese aircraft making "threatening moves" against its ship.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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