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Korea to conduct defense drills near Dokdo

South Korea will conduct military exercises in waters near the easternmost islets of Dokdo later this month to strengthen its defense amid Japan’s renewed territorial claims, a military official said Thursday.

The biannual exercise comes at a time when diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Tokyo rose after Japan reiterated its claim to Dokdo in its latest defense white paper, which drew strong protest from Seoul.

The last drill was held in February.

Dokdo, which lies closer to South Korea in the East Sea that divides the Korean Peninsula and Japan, has long been a thorn in relations between the two countries. South Korea keeps a small police detachment on the islets, effectively controlling them.

The one-day exercise will be carried out under a scenario in which the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard conduct a joint operation to drive out a vessel that has invaded the territorial waters near Dokdo, according to a senior official. (Yonhap News)
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