World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan recalled its ambassador to South Korea on Friday after South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visited disputed islands believed to contain frozen natural gas deposits potentially worth billions of dollars.
Lee is the first South Korean leader to make the trip to the islands that have been a persistent irritant in relations between the two countries even after they moved on from Japan's colonial occupation to develop flourishing commercial ties.
The two sides have also worked together to try to rein in North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
Japan issued a terse warning over the islands, known as Takeshima in Japanese and Dokdo in Korean, which lie equidistant from the two mainlands, and summoned South Korea's ambassador toTokyo to formally lodge a complaint.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba also said Tokyo had recalled its envoy to Seoul.
"The visit to Takeshima by President Lee is unacceptable in light of Japan's stance on this issue," Gemba was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.
Officials in South Korea said the visit was meant to highlight the islands' importance as a natural reserve and was not aimed at stirring up trouble.
"There shouldn't be anything unusual in a national leader visiting a place that is our territory," an official said.
Lee travelled to a larger island called Ulleungdo off the Korean peninsula's east coast, which is notdisputed, and made the final leg under tight security with military and coast guard escort.
Lee's stop on the islands was largely overlooked in South Korea, where he is in the final year of a mandatory single five-year term mired in corruption scandals involving former close aides and family members.
Berlin sends military experts to Erbil to explore ways of better supporting peshmerga troops against ISIL
Opposition commander says more sophisticated weapons needed to defeat ISIL in Syrian Kurdish town Kobani
Israeli authorities closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex – for the first time since 1967 – and gunned down a Palestinian suspected of killing a rabbi
Tambuwal defected from the ruling party to the opposition on Wednesday
Hickox, who tested negative for the virus after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, said that she plans to take the issue to court if Maine did not lift the quarantine
Eyewitnesses said scores of Palestinian students had hurled stones and empty bottles at an Israeli position near Birzeit, a town in northern Ramallah.
The 50 detainees were mainly Syrian but included nine Lebanese and one Palestinian, an army statement said.
Sunday's clashes raised fears of violent youths with no political agenda joining forces with a racist group.
The controversial government-proposed amendment would increase to three the maximum number of five-year presidential terms available to a single individual, opening the door for Compaore – in power since 1987 – to seek reelection next year.
Ministry spokesman Al-Bozum said that some of the names cited by the Egyptian media belonged to residents of the occupied West Bank who had never crossed into Gaza.
With no outright majority, Nidaa Tounes will seek to form a coalition with partners in negotiations that will likely last weeks before a new government is set up
Harun P. travelled to Syria at the end of September 2013 and became a member of the group, which trained and armed him, the prosecutor's statement said.
The Free Syrian Army is critical in the fight against ISIL, Syrian National Coalition leader Hadi al-Bahra said
The Islamic Republic has repeatedly complained of alleged covert U.S. and Israeli attempts to cripple its nuclear programme.
Special rapporteur expresses concern over conflicts with ethnic rebels, situation of Rohingya, media reforms, next year’s election
Twenty-six trucks loaded with construction supplies – including four carrying cement – entered the coastal strip