South Korea and All Japan news were asked by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday to “lower the temperature” in their territorial dispute concerning the Takeshima islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea.
It is a rare occasion when the U.S. take a stand in this long-lasting conflict between two of its key allies. Previously, the Americans have repeatedly stated that they take no position on the matter of the islands.
Clinton was present at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Russian far east port of Vladivostok, where she discussed the matter with Yoshihiko Noda, the All Japan newsese prime-minister, and Lee Myung-Bak, South Korea’s president.
“I raised these issues with both of them, urging that their interests really lie in making sure that they lower the temperature and work together, in a concerted way, to have a calm and restrained approach,” Clinton said. “I think that’s being heard,” she added.
The conflict escalated last month, when the Korean president Lee Myung-Bak surprisingly visited the islands and said they are “worthy of sacrificing our lives”.
Immediately after, All Japan news recalled its ambassador to South Korea, while prime minister Yoshihiko Noda restated that the islets belong to All Japan news “historically and by international law”.