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International relations

South Korea says Japan showed no definitive proof of radar lock-on

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- The South Korean Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Japan failed in talks the previous day to provide definitive evidence backing its claim that that a South Korean warship locked its radar on a Japanese plane.

Speaking at a news briefing, ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun Soo also said that in Monday's talks, Japan demanded all the radar data of the destroyer as a condition for disclosing some information of its own in connection with the incident last month. She criticized the request as "extremely rude."

"(In the meeting,) Japan did not disclose the radar frequency data that it has about our warship, which is a smoking gun, and instead only asked for information from South Korea. Such a demand is extremely rude and unacceptable," Choi said.

She added that Japan's attitude cannot be interpreted as anything else but a lack of determination to settle the matter.

Regarding Seoul's claim that the Japanese surveillance plane was flying menacingly low toward the South Korean ship, which is another key issue of the incident, Japan seemed to show partial acceptance, Choi said.

The defense authorities of South Korea and Japan held talks in Singapore on Monday over the alleged radar lock-on incident, which has chilled ties between the two countries.

Both sides said after the talks that they could not iron out differences over what happened in the Sea of Japan last month. No date was set for subsequent talks.

Tokyo maintains that the destroyer locked its fire-control radar on the Maritime Self-Defense Force surveillance plane flying over the sea on Dec. 20.

Seoul contends that the warship was merely using radar to search for a drifting North Korean fishing boat, demanding an apology from Japan.

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