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S. Korea confirms Hambak Island as N. Korean territory

The border island of Hambak in the Yellow Sea belongs to North Korea, the defense ministry said Monday, following revelations that some government maps and data erroneously mark it as South Korean territory.

A controversy has erupted recently over the ownership of the small, uninhabited island near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime border, after some news reports said that government data and maps show it belongs to the South.

But the defense ministry said such data and maps are mistaken and will be corrected.


(Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo) Yonhap
(Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo) Yonhap

"It is certain that the island is located north of the NLL," ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo said at a regular briefing, adding that the jurisdiction was fixed during the armistice agreement signed in 1953.

Though some local media reported that North Korea is presumed to have deployed such weapons as multiple rocket launchers and other coastal guns on the island, the ministry said that there seem to be no such weapons.

"We believe that the facilities there are for observation. We've been closely monitoring those facilities and maintained a staunch readiness posture," the spokesperson said, adding that the government is reviewing administrative measures to sort things out. (Yonhap)

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