S Korea and UK spat spreads to Falklands

Updated: 2011-09-20 11:24


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SEOUL - Irked by Britain's refusal to use South Korea's name for a sea off the east of the peninsula, Seoul is considering using an Argentine name for waters around the British-ruled Falkland Islands, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The JoongAng Ilbo said that Seoul may start calling the Falklands Sea, which is near the Falkland Islands and some 500 km (300 miles) east of Argentina, the Malvinas Sea as well -- tacitly recognising both Britain and Argentina's claims to the waters.

The paper said the move appeared to be in response to Britain's resistance to use the name the East Sea.

Seoul has been trying to persuade the international community to use both East Sea and Sea of Japan to refer to the waters between Korean peninsula and Japan. Most countries call it the Sea of Japan.      

"So far, we have marked it as the Falklands Sea, considering it British territory," a government official told the JoongAng Ilbo.

"But given that the sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina is not ending, and is actually escalating, we are positively reviewing the simultaneous use of Malvinas Sea."

The Falkland Islands are a sensitive issue in London, and Britain and Argentina went to war over the islands in 1982. Nearly a thousand soldiers and civilians were killed in 74 days of fighting.