‘Japanese plane’s low-altitude flight threatened Korean warship’: gov’t video refutes Tokyo’s radar claim
Jan. 10, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Park Hye-ri and Yoon Sojung
The Ministry of National Defense on Jan. 4 refuted Japan’s claim that a Korean warship used a firing radar to target a Japanese patrol airplane via a video posted on the ministry’s YouTube channel.
Lasting four minutes and 26 seconds under the title “The Korean Ministry of National Defense’s position on the low-altitude flight of the Japanese patrol plane and Japan’s false radar claim,” the video said the Korean destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great did not operate its firing radar (STIR) to target the plane.
“Japan should apologize for interfering with a humanitarian rescue conducted by the Korean warship and immediately stop distorting the truth,” the ministry said in the video.
The video began with a statement from ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo, who expressed “deep regret and concern” over Japan’s unilateral release of video footage related to the issue a day after both sides held a working-level video conference to remove misunderstanding.
The video then showed a scene of the warship on Dec. 20 rescuing a North Korean fishing boat drifting in the East Sea around 3 p.m.
The ministry said, “The Japanese plane approached the rescue operation area by 500 meters and then descended to 150 meters altitude, and this posed a threat to the warship’s crew as it made so much noise and was shaking.”
“The Japanese plane continued its unmannerly reconnaissance and created a serious threat by interfering in a humanitarian mission of the Korean warship.”
The ministry added, “An armed warplane should not threateningly fly at low altitude near another nation’s ship as an accidental collision could occur between the two sides.”
The video refuted every comment the Japanese defense ministry made to back its claim that it followed international law, accusing Tokyo of intentionally distorting such law.
If the warship targeted the patrol plane, the Korean Defense Ministry said, the plane should have immediately left the site but instead it approached the Korean vessel again, something not understandable.
The video also included the sound of unintelligible communication from the Japanese side.
The Korean Defense Ministry said it released the video to unveil the truth and refute Japan’s distorted claim that its video released on Dec. 28 showed that the Korean warship had targeted the Japanese patrol plane.
The Korean government’s video is in Korean but versions with subtitles in English, Chinese and other languages will be released soon.
Seoul has also officially requested Tokyo to review the latter’s findings through a working-level discussion.