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Police chief's initially secret Dokdo trip disclosed by mistake: officials

All News 13:58 November 18, 2021

SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- This week's trip to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo by the country's police chief had initially been planned as a schedule not to be publicized but was revealed by mistake, officials said Thursday amid Japan's protest of the trip.

Tokyo strongly protested National Police Agency Commissioner-General Kim Chang-yong's visit to Dokdo, with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori boycotting a joint press conference with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts in Washington on Wednesday (U.S. time).

Japan has repeatedly laid claims to Dokdo. South Korea has rejected Japan's claims as nonsense, because the country regained independence from the 1910-45 colonial rule after the war and reclaimed sovereignty over its territory, including Dokdo and many other islands around the Korean Peninsula.

The country has kept a small police detachment on Dokdo since 1954.

According to police, Kim's visit was to encourage officials working on Dokdo and the nearby Ulleungdo island and was initially planned as a private schedule that wasn't supposed to be made public.

The trip was consulted with related ministries, including the foreign ministry, due to Dokdo being a diplomatically sensitive subject matter between Seoul and Tokyo.

The trip, however, was eventually revealed through various media reports Monday.

Kim's Dokdo visit was the first by a South Korean police chief since 2009.

A file photo of National Police Agency Commissioner-General Kim Chang-yong (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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