October 25, 2013 - 12:11 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - South Korean forces have carried out a drill aimed at repelling foreign landings on disputed islands at the heart of a row with Japan, BBC News reported.
The drill took place at an outcrop known in South Korea as Dokdo and in Japan as Takeshima.
The long-running row over the islands has affected ties between the two nations.
Both Japan and South Korea say they have long-standing historical ties to, and claims over, the island grouping.
The drill, which included destroyers and combat jets, took place on what South Korea has designated "Dokdo Day".
"It is a regular drill aimed at repealing non-military forces that approach Dokdo via a sea or air route," an unidentified military official told Yonhap news agency.
A defence ministry official said that it was important to show the area "would be defended by South Korea, in whatever circumstances".
Tensions over the disputed islands between South Korea and Japan have worsened recently, reports the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul, with both sides taking their conflict online and posting videos supporting their claims on the YouTube website.
The islets have become a lightening rod for unresolved historical issues between the two neighbours - a symbol, say many Koreans, of Japan's lack of remorse for its colonial past, the correspondent adds.
The territories themselves consist of two main islands and about 30 smaller rocks. A South Korean coastguard detachment has been stationed there since 1954.
There was no immediate response from Japan to the drill, which is not the first to be held in the area.