Photo/IllutrationA South Korean warship arrives in Shanghai on Jan. 14. (Provided by the South Korean Navy)

SEOUL--South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has made subtle changes in its view of Japan in its latest white paper, reflecting strains in relations that continue to plague the two countries.

Unlike white papers for 2014 and 2016, the new biennial document, released Jan. 15, does not state that “South Korea and Japan share fundamental values of liberal democracy and market economy.”

The latest version apparently reflects recent tensions over Japan’s claim that a South Korean destroyer locked its fire-control radar on a Maritime Self-Defense Force P-1 patrol aircraft and Japan's decision last October not to send a warship to an international fleet review hosted by South Korea.

Japan had objected to Seoul's request to remove the “kyokujitsuki” (rising sun) flag that is the ensign on MSDF vessels.

The defense white paper also changed the order of countries with which it has defense exchanges.

It now stands as China, Japan and Russia, whereas previously it was Japan, China and Russia.

A big change this year was the ministry's decision to drop its definition of North Korea as being South Korea's enemy.

The statement that “the North Korean regime and its military is our enemy” was traditionally included in white papers until now.

It also stated that the range of intercontinental ballistic missiles, Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, launched by North Korea in 2017, was more than 10,000 kilometers.