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South Koreans back Lee in island row

Thursday, August 09, 2012 - 01:32

Aug. 10 - South Koreans stand behind President Lee Myung-bak's decision to visit disputed islands. Sophia Soo reports.

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South Koreans support President Lee Myung-bak's plan to visit a pair of disputed islands in the Sea of Japan. A move that's angered Japan, which also claims the territory. But some Seoul residents stood behind their president's decision. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 28-YEAR-OLD RESIDENT SONG KI-HO SAYING: "It's our territory. So it's quite natural that our president visits there. If other countries say anything against it, it should be an infringement of sovereignty. It's natural that he visits there." Some expressed caution about testing ties with Japan. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 20-YEAR-OLD RESIDENT CHOI YOO-JIN SAYING: "President Lee Myung-bak's visit to disputed islands as the president of the country will bring about Japan's resistance. There will be diplomatic problems between the two countries." Japan swiftly issued a warning over the visit. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE CABINET SECRETARY OSAMU FUJIMURA SAYING: "If it's true, that would run counter to Japan's stance on Takeshima and it would be extremely regrettable. We strongly urge South Korea to call off this visit. We are now already strongly asking South Korea to call off the visit." South Korea has a coast guard presence on the islands, known as Dokdo to Korea and Takeshima to Japan. Lee would be the first South Korean leader to make a trip to the islands.

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South Koreans back Lee in island row

Thursday, August 09, 2012 - 01:32