The South Korean armed forces launched a two-day military exercise to defend the easternmost islets of Dokdo on Sunday, in a show of its staunch defense stance against Japan's repeated sovereignty over the cluster of rocks in the East Sea.
The Navy announced that the drill involves Navy, Air Force and Army forces, such as naval warships and aircraft, as well as Army and Marine Corp troops.
The drills have been held twice a year, usually in June and December, to better fend off possible foreign infiltrations to the rocky outcroppings and the surrounding waters.
But this year's drills have been pushed back amid an escalating trade row with Japan stemming from differences over wartime forced labor. Japan, which has made territorial claims to Dokdo, has protested the drills.
"In consideration of the drill's significance and size, the military named it the 'East Sea territory defense exercise,' in order to further solidify its determination to defend the country's territories in the East Sea, including Dokdo," a Navy official said. (Yonhap)