The Straits Times
Published on Sep 25, 2012

S. Korea refuses Japan port call in drill: Reports


TOKYO (AFP) - South Korea is refusing to allow a Japanese warship to dock at its port during a joint naval exercise, media said on Tuesday, as ties between the pair remain strained over disputed islands.

Tokyo has lodged a protest with Seoul over the refusal during an exercise that also involves the United States (US) and Australia, reports said, with one diplomat calling it "extremely rude".

The four-nation drill, scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday, is aimed at coordinating a response to possible trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, Japanese defence officials said.

In the original scenario a Japanese vessel was to dock in the city of Busan, but South Korean authorities refused to grant it permission, Japan's broadcaster NHK said.