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4 Jan, 2019 19:08

South Korea releases video of Japanese plane flyby, demands apology for ‘threatening’ its Navy Ship

South Korea releases video of Japanese plane flyby, demands apology for ‘threatening’ its Navy Ship

South Korea’s defense ministry has released a video bolstering its demand that Japan stop “distorting the truth” and apologize for a patrol plane which allegedly flew dangerously close to a Korean ship.

The ministry claims that the Japanese plane made an aggressive maneuver in the Sea of Japan last month, swooping in low over a Korean vessel which was trying to rescue a North Korean fishing ship. The video released Friday includes new footage of the incident filmed at sea-level which shows both ships and the plane involved and makes renewed demands for an official apology in light of the evidence.

The video shows the Japanese plane flying within 500m of the Korean destroyer at an altitude of 150m, close enough for the crew to feel “immense tremors” from the aircraft, according to the video. It also makes the claim that the aircraft was “well aware” of what the ship was doing, but chose to engage in “reconnaissance” nonetheless, at the cost of “interfering with the humanitarian rescue operation.”

Japan responded to the incident earlier this week claiming the Korean destroyer had locked its radar onto their plane while it passed, while the Korean side claims they were using an optical camera in their rescue effort. They also ask why the Japanese plane failed to take evasive maneuvers if they felt they were being targeted by a fire-control radar, and demand evidence be produced for the claims.

While Korea’s ministry suggests that the two sides continue talks to come to an agreement, they have also expressed dissatisfaction over comments by a “high-ranking” Japanese official regarding the incident, likely referring to Japanese President’s Shinzo Abe’s TV interview where he called the disputed radar lock-on a “dangerous act.

The two countries, Washington’s biggest allies in the region, have been hostile to one another for decades over territorial disputes and differences over imperial Japan’s treatment of Korea.

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