World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korean members of parliament visited a set of remote islands also claimed by Japan on Tuesday, a move likely to further fray ties between two of the most important U.S. allies in Asia.
The tour followed a visit by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in August, the first by a Korean leader, which prompted Japan to recall its ambassador to Seoul. The row was then overshadowed by a far more acute dispute between Tokyo and Beijing over another island group.
South Korea controls the islands, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japan and equidistant from the mainlands of both countries.
A Korean police official on the islands said the parliamentarians, flying in by helicopters for the third such visit, were briefed on coast guard and other activities as part of an "audit" by parliament's Defence Committee.
Japan issued a formal protest to South Korea's ambassador.
"We've confirmed that the committee members landed on Takeshima," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters in Tokyo. "Takeshima is sovereign Japanese territory and such a step is completely unacceptable."
Japan, which ruled Korea for more than three decades last century, has said it will take the issue of the rocky island chain to the International Court of Justice.
But South Korea must first give its assent, a notion it rejects as it has long considered the islands its territory "historically, geographically and by international law".
Experts say there is no indication that the dispute would develop into the kind of diplomatic standoff that has severely damaged ties and trade between Tokyo and Beijing, although it remains a major irritant for the United States.
Strained relations between Seoul and Tokyo over issues related to Japan's colonial rule of Korea scuppered a planned intelligence sharing deal earlier this year.
A Korean study said has said there could be deposits of natural gas near the islands, although no exploratory work has been conducted.
Berlin has announced it will send military supplies that will arm more than 4,000 Kurdish troops.
Two children are believed trapped in wreckage of collapsed building.
In a statement late Sunday, the government said its ministers and senior officials had faced threats and it is deemed "dangerous" for them to go to work.
Iraq has been without a government since April 30 elections won by former PM Maliki, who resigned amid criticism and was replaced by Abadi last month.
Anti-government protesters throw rocks and petrol bombs as clashes with police continue.
Libyan militiamen have occupied the US embassy in Tripoli to 'secure' it.
The bodies are believed to belong to the victims of a massacre carried out by right-wing Jewish militias in the former Arab district in 1948.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov sa'd "Only Ukraine can reach an agreement with Novorossiya, taking into account the interests of Novorossiya, and this is the only way to reach political settlement."
Iceland's largest volcanic system, which cuts a 190 km long and up to 25 km wide (118 miles by 15.5 miles) swathe across the North Atlantic island, has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the last two weeks and scientists have been on high alert.
In a statement, the military said the drone was downed by a Patriot missile near the Quneitra border crossing between the Israeli-held Golan Heights and Syria.
President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli's mostly ethnic Turkmen population.
Former Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus president Mehmet Ali Talat on his official Twitter page said "I will not run for presidency as of yesterday (30 August) I told the CTP General Secretary that I will stand with our party's candidate."
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a news conference that Iran would respond to the sanctions "if deemed necessary."
The files that were made public by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) shows how American delegates agreed to Israel's refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The militants detonated several explosive-laden cars before trying to break into the prison amid heavy fighting with the prison guards.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah, whose country has tried to mediate in the dispute, said Saturday's meeting had led to limited progress.