South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik criticized the Japanese government’s boycott of Korean Air Tuesday, calling it a breach of international rules.
Tokyo ordered civil servants not to fly on Korean Air after the private company held a demonstration flight of its new Airbus A380 over the disputed Liancourt Rocks.
Kim was quoted by a spokesman as saying, “A move targeting a private firm like Korean Air is inappropriate and may contravene global diplomatic protocols and WTO (World Trade Organization) rules.”
Four lawmakers from Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party announced last Friday plans to visit Ulleung Island, the closest South Korean island to the disputed territory, next month. Special Affairs Minister Lee Jae-Oh pledged to “stop the entry to Ulleung Island by all possible means.”
Lee wrote on his Twitter account, “If the visit is aimed to reassert a territorial claim on Dokdo… I want them to get real and cancel the trip immediately.” Dokdo is the Korean name for the Liancourt Rocks, which are known as Takeshima in Japanese.
I guess I won’t be seeing any Japanese civil servants on my flight home from Japan on Korean Air next week.