Photo/IllutrationA Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol plane takes a photo of a South Korean destroyer, which is believed to have locked its fire-control radar on the aircraft. (Provided by the Defense Ministry)

  • Photo/Illustraion

The Defense Ministry on Dec. 25 rebutted South Korea’s denial that one of its destroyers had locked its targeting radar on a Japanese patrol aircraft, saying Seoul has “misunderstood some of the facts.”

“We have confirmed that radio waves characteristic of coming from a fire-control radar were directed at our aircraft several times over a given length of time,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the South Korean warship locked its firing radar on a Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol aircraft on Dec. 20 in the Sea of Japan off the Noto Peninsula.

South Korea issued a denial and asserted that the MSDF aircraft took “peculiar action” by passing right above the destroyer.

Japan’s Defense Ministry also rejected this explanation.

“(Our aircraft) flew at a certain altitude and distance (from the destroyer),” the ministry said. “There are no facts showing that our aircraft flew in low from above.”

In addition, the MSDF aircraft contacted the destroyer three times in English to confirm its intentions with the targeting radar, the ministry said.

Member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party held a meeting on the morning of Dec. 25 to discuss the matter.

“The Japanese government should deal with South Korea in stricter way,” Itsunori Onodera, a former defense minister and current chairman of the LDP’s research panel on security issues, said at the meeting. “I want the government to issue a strong complaint to them.”