Published : 2013-10-07 11:43
Updated : 2013-10-07 11:43
South Korea will retain its 2014 budget to promote the country's ownership of its easternmost islets of Dokdo at this year's level, a parliamentary record showed Monday.
According to the budget bill submitted to the National Assembly, the government set aside 4.24 billion won ($4 million) in next year's budget for the foreign ministry's promotion efforts over the islets, the same amount earmarked for this year.
The government first introduced the Dokdo budget in 2003, setting aside 250 million won, in a bid to promote its Dokdo ownership, mainly vis-a-vis Japan's continued claim over the South Koren islets.
The budget stood at 2.37 trillion won for 2011 and was sharply driven up to 4.24 billion won for 2013 amid Japan's intensified territorial claim.
Next year's Dokdo budget could be further increased when the assembly reviews it, given a reported hike in Tokyo's similar budget for 2014, according to observers.
A Japanese news outlet has reported that the country may earmark about 1 billion Japanese yen ($10.3 million) in efforts to raise its claim over the islets, an increase from 810 million yen for 2013.
The Dokdo outcroppings, on which South Korea keeps a small police detachment, have been a major source of strain in its relations with Japan.