World / Asia-Pacific

S. Korea to hold drill in islets disputed with Japan: Seoul

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-14 21:27

SEOUL - South Korea's military will conduct an annual military drill in islets disputed with Japan on Nov. 24, Seoul's defense ministry said on Friday.

Defense Ministry's vice spokesman Wi Yong-seop told a press briefing that the exercise will be staged as planned, saying no circumstances can be factored into carrying out the exercise in Dokdo, called Takeshima by Japan.

The exercise, which has been held twice a year since 1986, will mobilize five to six destroyers and convoys along with F-15K fighter jets, P-3C patrol airplanes and CH-60 and CH-47 helicopters. A number of army soldiers and police forces will reportedly participate in the drill.

The drill will also involve a landing training exercise by a squad of marines from a UH-60 helicopter.

Japan has expressed regrets over the exercise, claiming its sovereignty over the islets. Despite the protests, South Korea held the first round of drill on May 30, when warships and marines were mobilized to the islets.

The islets have been controlled by South Korea since 1950s. Japan has laid territorial claims over the islets lying halfway between the two countries.

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