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South Korea to recall envoy to Japan

South Korea says it will recall its ambassador to Japan after Tokyo reaffirmed its claim to a group of islands controlled by Seoul.

world Updated: Jul 14, 2008 17:06 IST

South Korea on Monday said it will recall its ambassador to Japan after Tokyo reaffirmed its claim to a group of islands controlled by Seoul.

Ambassador Kwon Chul-hyun will temporarily return to Seoul soon, foreign ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young said at a news conference.

Moon said in a statement that Japan's claim to the disputed islands of Dokdo, which is called Takeshima in Japan, in its new educational guidelines is “unacceptable and intolerable."

According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, Japan's education ministry announced earlier Monday its plan to define Dokdo as part of Japanese territory in a teacher's guidebook for Japanese middle school textbook to be used from 2012.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan also plans to summon Japanese envoy to South Korea Toshinori Shigeie later in the day to deliver a protest message, the spokesman said.

South Korea's Presidential Office said the government has reinforced the defence of Dokdo and will take measures to strengthen its sovereignty over the disputed islands.

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