Korean scholar urges use of int’l norms to peacefully solve East Sea issue


Professor Lee Woong-Hyeon (R) in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Seoul (Photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) – Countries should not give up the
efforts to cite, utilise and adopt international norms for the
peaceful settlement of the problems in the East Sea, President of the
Geopolitics Institute of the Republic of Korea (RoK), Professor Lee Woong-Hyeon
has said.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, the RoK scholar
said that the Tu Chinh reef (internationally known as Vanguard Bank) in the westernmost
area of the Spratly islands, sits well within the 200 nautical miles of Vietnam’s
exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The return of Chinese geological survey vessel group Haiyang
Dizhi 8 in areas near the reef have infringed on Vietnam’s EEZ, he stated.

Lee highlighted that there is a legal framework for security
and peace in this sea besides the general and traditional principle of free
navigation, adding that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is
the foremost legal frame of reference with which Vietnam can strengthen its own

He recalled that the Permanent Court of
Arbitration (PCA) dismissed China’s nine-dash line claim as groundless in 2016.

According to the scholar, in an international
crisis threatening a state’s security and sovereignty, the most important
stance a state should take is to maintain strategic, theoretical and policy
consistency, which could gather international support and could get the
normatively stronger position.

He also stressed the need for academics to study
and research the related maritime history of this area, preparing for the
possible debate on to whom the historically and internationally legitimate sovereign
of this area should belong.-VNA

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