An annual policy report released by South Korea‘s maritime ministry revealed on Wednesday that it will be looking to diversify and flourish the ecosystem of the disputed Dokdo islands – also claimed by Japan as the Takeshima islands, but administered and controlled by Seoul – in an attempt to strengthen its current hold on the territory. South Korea is planning to graft in and start nurturing seals at the country’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, a move aimed at boosting the country’s control over the uninhabited isles.
South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that complementary to the country’s policies, the ministry is seeking to strengthen the country’s control over the uninhabited islands and other such territories controlled by Seoul. “Unlike Japan, which even takes control of submerged rocks by constructing various facilities, our control of outermost islands has been somewhat inadequate, while the number of inhabited islands continues to drop,” the ministry said. To this effect, the ministry is planning to build permanent structures on 23 of these islands, most of which will serve as observation posts. Specifically, the effort to bring back seals to Dokdo will help improve the environment and ecosystem in the area while also strengthening the country’s official control of the islets, the report revealed.
Bilateral ties between Japan and South Korea have taken a turn for the worse at the start of the year, mostly due to perspectives on history and Japan’s war of aggression in the WWII. The Dokdo islets have also been a subject of growing dispute, with Japan including the Takeshima islands in high school history books, drawing the ire of the South Korean government. South Korea currently maintains a small police detachment on the territory and is officially administering the islands.
[via Yonhap News]