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Seoul Urges UN to Enhance Maritime Treaty to Resolve Feud

14 August 2012

SOUTH KOREA - Seoul called on the United Nations Sunday to enhance an international treaty over the rights of the use of the world’s oceans to help resolve increasing disputes.

Speaking at the conference observing the 30th anniversary of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vice Foreign Minister Kim Sung-han cited the need for an international pact to help resolve disputes on national juristic and fishing rights, reports TheKoreaTimes.

“The world’s oceans have become an arena for disputes over such matters as fishing rights and varying claims of national jurisdiction, exploitation of deep sea mineral resources and responsibility for the protection of the environment,” Kim said.

“Problems like this occur not because of the intrinsic flaws in the convention and misuse of it by its member states but despite them,” Kim told participants.

Among the attendees were Koji Sekimizu, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, and Shunji Yanai, president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

“I am confident that the discussions today will be a source of inspiration for redefining the rule of law under the convention,” Kim said.

The occasion was a sideline event at the Yeosu Expo whose theme was “The Living Ocean and Coast,” but Korea is no stranger to a maritime dispute.

The expo closed Sunday. One pronounced and ongoing bilateral dispute is with Japan over the Dokdo islets. Ieodo, southwest of Jeju Island, is a storm slowly brewing up between China and Korea.

The government is to lay claim to an extended portion of cthe ontinental shelf beyond its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the East China Sea close to Okinawa Trough through the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, likely to rekindle a territorial dispute with China and Japan.

TheFishSite News Desk



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