Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Yonhap)
South Korea is not considering boycotting the Tokyo Olympics, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, after presidential hopefuls of the ruling Democratic Party mentioned the possibility of a boycott amid a renewed territorial spat with Japan over the East Sea islets of Dokdo.
Rep. Lee Nak-yon and former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun raised the need to mull boycotting the Games, slated to take place from July 23-Aug. 8, should Japan not revise the map of the Olympic torch relay route that included Dokdo as its territory.
"Dokdo is the territory of the Republic of Korea historically, geographically and by international law, and our government is exercising firm territorial sovereignty over Dokdo," Choi Young-sam, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.
"At this point, our government is not considering a boycott due to the Dokdo map issue," he added.
Dokdo has long been a recurring source of tension between the two neighbors, as Tokyo continues to lay claim to the islets in its policy papers, public statements and school textbooks.
South Korea has been in effective control of Dokdo, with a small police detachment, since its liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.(Yonhap)