South Korea has decided to submit a claim to an extended portion of the continental shelf in the East China Sea to a United Nations commission within this year, the government said Sunday, a move expected to rekindle its dispute with China and Japan over the extent of their respective exclusive economic zones.
The submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf will claim that the country’s statutory exclusive economic zone stretches beyond the current 200 nautical miles, government officials said.
“In order to submit an official document to the U.N. CLCS, the government is reviewing and processing related data,” a government official said. “As soon as the documentation is completed, we will officially submit it to the U.N. through the necessary process.”
According to the U.N. Law of the Sea, countries wishing to delimit their outer continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles have to submit information on the claim to the commission.
In the submission, Korea is expected to claim that the Korean Peninsula’s naturally extended continental shelf stretches to the Okinawa Trough in the East China Sea.
The country had lodged a similar claim in its preliminary information submission to the U.N commission on May 12, 2009.