Is ‘radar feud’ sign of future military confrontation between South Korea and Japan?
“A war of nerves between South Korea and Japan over a South Korean warship’s radar search operations could be a sign of increasing tensions, as the countries reposition military operations in the region, military experts say. The episode, in particular, coincides with South Korean military’s shift of its operational focus from North Korean threats to threats posed by neighboring countries, including Japan. Directing the fire control radar at a target can be regarded a step away from actual firing. Japan’s military and diplomatic authorities have made a strong protest with the South Korean counterparts against the radar operations, which they call ‘extremely dangerous,’ But Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense has denied the destroyer used the target radar, saying the ship used a three-dimensional radar. The ministry later admitted the ship operated a camera attached alongside the radar to look for the North Korean boat. ‘The incident came at an awkward time when the relations of South Korea and Japan hit the lowest ebb over territorial and historical disputes,’ Shin said. ‘I’m worried if the worsening relations of Seoul and Tokyo could hamper trilateral defense cooperation with the U.S. in the region,’ the analyst said.”