PYONGYANG, May 3 (Itar-Tass) — The unfounded claims to the Korean Tok (Takeshima) Islands can become “a prelude for another Japanese invasion of Korea and other Asian countries,” it is said in a commentary released on Thursday by the North Korean official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The commentary authors stress that these islands are “an inalienable part of the Korean territory, in accordance with the historical and geographical data, as well as legal norms.” However, at the present time high-ranking Japanese officials “are deliberately exacerbating tensions around these islands, trying to take the issue of their ownership to the international arena.” The KCNA believes that the Diplomatic Bluebook in which these islands are described as Japanese territory, published this year, testifies to Tokyo’s aggressive intentions.
The policy of the reactionary forces of Japan, which revive the militarist traditions and seek to expand its territory at the expense of other countries, “undermines stability in Northeast Asia,” the KCNA stated.
Tok is a group of small islands with a total area of ·· 0.188 square kilometres, located east of the Korean Peninsula. These uninhabited rocky territories became the subject of international controversy since 1945, when Korea was liberated by the Soviet Army from Japanese colonial rule. The islands are currently controlled by the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, which keeps a small garrison there. Tokyo argues that South Korea illegally occupied these territories that had been included in the Japanese empire in 1905. Pyongyang and Seoul, in turn, claim that the islands have long been part of Korea.