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Japan's Claim to Tok Islets Has No Validity

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Pyongyang, August 9 (KCNA) -- Japan, in the latest "Defense White Paper", asserts that Korea's Tok Islets belong to its territory.

From the legal point of view, it is clear to everyone that Japan's claim to the islets is groundless.

In the prime minister's Decree No. 24 and Finance Ministry's Order No. 4 issued in 1951, Japan proclaimed that Tok Islets are excluded from the country's islands. When they were revised in 1960 and 1968, Japan left this passage unchanged.

The facts show that the Japanese government actually recognized the legal status of Tok Islets as territory of Korea as mentioned in international documents, and codified it.

Viewed from international law, the islets are the legitimate territory of Korea. It has been evidenced by many historical records that when Korea discovered the islets, they remained ownerless.

After being formally embraced by Silla in 512, the islets have been governed by the successive governments of Korea.

The Korean feudal government issued the king's Ordinance No. 41 in October 1900 to proclaim that Tok Islets are part of the Korean territory and informed foreign legations in the country of the ordinance.

At that time Japan, the United States, Britain, China, Russia and all other countries did not raise objection to the ordinance.

After the end of the Second World War, the Tokyo-based supreme command of the allied powers was a legitimate body, viewed from international law, so all documents adopted by it had the same force as international law at that time.

The command issued Order No. 677 in January 1946 stipulating that Ullung, Tok and Jeju islands are excluded from the Japanese territory.

In another Order No. 1033 issued in June 1946, the command did not allow Japanese vessels and their crew to approach near Tok Islets.

In an agreement on old Japan's territory, the allied nations decided to transfer the sovereignty over the Korean peninsula and its neighboring islands to Korea and stipulated the islands include Jeju, Komun, Ullung and Tok.

Japan's moves to seize Tok Islets are criminal acts and a violation of the fourth paragraph of the second article of the UN charter prohibiting infringement upon other countries' inviolability of territory.

Japan should feel responsible for the violation of international law.

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