South Korea has communicated to Japan its "strong regret" through diplomatic channels for using for political purposes its provision of ammunition to South Korean troops deployed to a U.N. peacekeeping operation in South Sudan, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo daily reported Wednesday, quoting a senior South Korean government official.
The official was referring to remarks made Tuesday by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga that Japan provided the ammunition "in accordance with our proactive pacifism" and intends to contribute more to the peace and stability of the international community.
The senior official voiced displeasure with Japan's attempt to tie the ammunition supply to an enlargement of its military role, despite supplying the ammunition through the world body.
Meanwhile, the Dong-A Ilbo daily reported Wednesday that the South Korean troops which requested the ammunition had asked that the provision not be disclosed until being completed for security reasons.
The newspaper reported that the Japanese side agreed to the request, but prior to completion it was reported by Japanese media. "There is criticism of the fact that the ammunition transporting operation was put in jeopardy," it said.