Korea Expresses Concerns Over Japan's Military Drive

The government on Thursday urged Japan to dispel the doubts and concerns shared by its regional neighbors as it moves closer to exercising its right to so-called collective self-defense.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tae-yong said the move must be transparent and consistent with the principles of Japan's pacifist constitution while contributing to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Seoul had refrained from expressing either support or opposition to the move since all UN member nations are guaranteed to exercise the right to collective self-defense and the U.S. is in favor of Japan becoming more active in its own and allies' defense.

"As for Japan's future security policy, we want to reiterate that it should exercise its right at Seoul's request or obtain Seoul's consent when it comes to issues related to security on the Korean Peninsula and national interests," the spokesman said in a statement.

"The government will closely monitor the situation and take necessary action."

englishnews@chosun.com / May 16, 2014 10:14 KST