South Korea Enforces Entry Ban Against 3 Japanese Legislators.

Posted August 1st, 2011 at 2:30 am (UTC-5)
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South Korean immigration officials say they stopped three members of Japan's opposition Liberal Democratic Party when they arrived at Seoul's Gimpo airport Monday in hopes of visiting a disputed island chain.

The three legislators were forced to return home without traveling to the island of Ulleungdo, which serves as Seoul's administrative and military base for the islets, called Dokdo in Korea and claimed by Japan as Takeshima.

Outside the airport, South Korean protesters tore Japanese flags and set fire to pictures of the legislators.

Seoul had informed Tokyo last week that it would not permit the three to enter South Korea.

The islands have been under effective South Korean control since the end of Japanese colonial rule after World War II.

The latest flare-up began when South Korea's flag carrier Korean Air passed over the islands during a demonstration flight of its new Airbus A380 super-jumbo airliner last month.

Japanese officials called the flight an infringement of Japanese air space and banned foreign ministry officials from using the Korean airline for a month.