South Korea condemns Japan for conducting opinion poll on the disputed Takeshima island; South Korea proposes bilateral talk with North Korea over the fate of joint industrial zone
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  • South Korea has strongly condemned Japan as the latter recently conducted an opinion poll on the Dokdo/Takeshima islands, a disputed territory between the countries. It is worth noting that the Japanese Cabinet, on August 1, released the results of the opinion poll showing that six out of ten Japanese view those islands as an inherent part of Japanese territory in terms of history and international law. While issuing a formal protest to Japan on August 2, South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Japan’s continuous claims over the islands are ‘deplorable’ and such kind of provocative behaviour by Tokyo is posing ‘serious obstacle’ to the constructive development of bilateral relations. 1

    In another development, on July 29, South Korea proposed for talks with North Korea in order to revive the Gaeseong joint industrial complex, the functioning of which came to halt in April this year following Pyongyang’s withdrawal of all its 53,000 workers from there. In July itself, the two sides held six rounds of talks to resolve the issue. However, it has produced little progress. 2 So far, North Korea is maintaining silence on the dialogue offer. 3