2012-08-26 15:11:32

U.S. ‘Uncomfortable’ on Japan Korea Dokdo Spat

WASHINGTON - After weeks of routine and neutral statements, the U.S. government expressed thinly veiled displeasure Thursday over a continued territorial stand-off between its top Asian allies - Korea and Japan.

“Both of these countries are strong, important, valued allies of the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing.

“It’s obviously not comfortable for us when they have a dispute between them. So our message to each of them is the same: Work this out; work it out peacefully; work it out through consultations.”

Korea has sent back a protest letter from the Japanese prime minister to President Lee Myung-bak over Lee’s visit to the easternmost Korean islets of Dokdo, which are claimed by Tokyo.

Such an unusual exchange represents a sharp diplomatic conflict between the neighboring nations.

Japan has also decided to push toraise the Dokdo issue at the International Court of Justice and possibly also at the United Nations General Assembly. Korea, however, opposes discussing its “indisputable ownership” of Dokdo on the global stage.

Nuland refused to clarify whether the United States supports Japan’s move.

“What we want is a resolution between the two countries,” she said.

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