By Yu Runze, Sina English
While South Korea is still at odds with Japan over the disputed Islets called Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, it plans to reinforce its police on Suyan Rock in China’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and goes so far as to threaten to draw its powerful ally the U.S. in the potential dispute with China.
South Korea is seeking to verify media reports that China plans to use drones to conduct marine surveillance in the marine areas including Suyan Rock, Yonhap news reported on Tuesday, citing a South Korea government official.
South Korea’s foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young confirmed that the ministry was verifying the reports, adding that South Korea "will do everything possible to ensure its jurisdictional control of Suyan Rock within its economic exclusive zone."
Yonhap also reported that Suyan Rock lies within the overlapping exclusive economic zones of South Korea and China. The two sides have been in negotiations on the delimitation of their economic exclusive zones in waters near Suyan Rock since 1996, but little headway was reported.
South Korea will not tolerate China’s claim of jurisdictional control of Suyan Rock, South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Tuesday.
”China claims that the island falls under its jurisdiction since the length of its coastline and other factors would push its EEZ further east toward Korea.
It violates the International Law, which makes negotiations on Suyan Rock broke down. China should abandon indirect demonstrations and go back to negotiation or it will likely lead to U.S. intervention, “Maeil Business reported.
According to The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea has made plans to respond China’s activities. If China sends surveillance ships in waters around Suyan Rock, South Korea will send Coast Guard vessels. If China sends naval vessel, South Korea will mobilize its naval vessels.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday ordered to deploy a 3,000 ton vessel to Korea Coast Guard in Cheju to reinforce police force around Suyan Rock waters, media reported.
It was also reported that Suyan Rock is monitored by aviation every day, while cruised by destroyer and patrol airplane occasionally.
Lee said on Wednesday during the 64th Armed Forces Day ceremony that as Northeast Asia remains “in a state of flux and is becoming increasingly unstable”, South Korea should continuously push defense reform to maintain peace and stability of the region.
It is not wise a move for S Korea to provoke at the time when it is bogged down in untold trouble with neighbors, and it is naive for a government to make enemies when it needs friends, just to win some votes and attention at home.