Seoul: South Korea conducted regular military drills to strengthen the defence of its easternmost islets of Dokdo last week, multiple sources said on Wednesday, amid lingering tensions caused by Japan’s persistent claims to the East Sea outcroppings.
The country’s military staged the drills to ensure their readiness to fend off potential foreign infiltrations to the rocky outcroppings, the source said without elaborating on the exact date and the size of the participating troops.
“(The military) held the exercise last week,” a source told Yonhap News Agency.
South Korea is said to have not carried out any landing drills on the islets, with the manoeuvers having proceeded in waters and through computer simulation.
Seoul’s Defence Ministry and the Navy refused to confirm whether the drills took place.
The latest drills came as Washington has been steadily striving to bring its key Asian allies, Seoul and Tokyo, closer together amid its drive to counter China’s growing assertiveness.
In particular, the three countries have been coordinating over the idea of holding trilateral defence ministerial talks likely next month to reinforce their security cooperation.
South Korea launched the Dokdo drills in 1986. Since 2003, it has conducted them twice a year.