A small set of rocky islands which are otherwise ordinary have off late acquired significant attention in the media. These islands are referred by South Korea (which has for decades administered the disputed islets) calls it Dokdo while Japan which also claims them, calls it the Takeshima island. They are also referred to as the Liancourt islands.
Where are these islands?
- The Liancourt Rocks are a group of small islets in the Sea of Japan.?
- They consist of two main islets and 35 smaller rocks with a total surface area of the islets are 0.2 square kilometers.
- They lie in rich fishing grounds and may also contain large deposits of natural gas.
- While this part of the ocean is known as the Sea of Japan, but South Korea instead argues that it should be known by the more neutral name the East Sea.
What has happened in the area?
The small area has been in an international spotlight due to the following reasons-
- A Russian Reconnaissance aircraft taking part in a joint Russian-Chinese military exercise was intercepted and fired on by multiple Korean aircraft which flying in what Sout Korea refers to as the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ). Russia claims that the airspace was international.
- A Russian fishing ship was seized by North Korean coast guard after they alleged that it had strayed in Korean borders. Russia denies the claim and wants North Korea to return the boat and its crew unmolested.
- North Korea carried out 2 missile launches in the area. This has alarmed both Japan and South Korea who are alarmed by the increasing range and sophistication of Noth Korean weapons.