South Korea, Japan suspend military exchange programme
SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea and Japan have temporarily suspended a military exchange programme amid a territorial row over a set of disputed islands, defence officials said on Monday.
Japanese naval and air force commanders suspended trips to South Korea which had been scheduled to start on Monday as part of a military exchange programme, the South's defence ministry said.
South Korea will also suspend similar trips to Japan by its commanders, a ministry spokesman told AFP. "The move is temporary, reflecting strained ties between the two countries," he said.
The current dispute is over ownership of South Korean-controlled islands in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese. Ministry officials said the row could affect other military exchange and cooperation programmes if tensions escalate further.