SEOUL --- Japan has demanded South Korea offer all information on one of its warships' radar equipment while refusing to divulge data key to resolving a bilateral dispute over the ship's use of radar in a humanitarian mission last month, Seoul's defense ministry said Tuesday.
Choi Hyun-soo, the ministry's spokeswoman, called the demand made at the two sides' Singapore talks on Monday "hardly acceptable and rude" -- an indication that Seoul and Tokyo are still far apart over the Dec. 20 radar incident.
Tokyo has accused a South Korean warship of locking fire-control radar on its maritime patrol aircraft. Seoul has rejected the claim, saying the ship was on a mission to rescue a North Korean ship drifting in the international waters of the East Sea at the time.
"Japan has yet to disclose what we call a smoking gun -- its analysis of radar frequency data. While Tokyo talked about only partial data on its part, it demanded (at the Singapore talks) that we provide information on the entirety of our destroyer's radar equipment," she said during a press briefing.
"Such a demand is very rude, and we judge that Japan is making that claim without a will to address this issue," she added.
Seoul has been asking Tokyo to divulge radar frequency data to verify if Tokyo's claim that the destroyer used a tracking radar -- rather than a search radar for humanitarian operations -- against the patrol plane is true. Tokyo has so far rejected the request.
The two sides held two rounds of talks in Singapore on Monday in the hopes of addressing their "misunderstandings" over the incident. But they failed to narrow their differences, Seoul officials said.
At the latest talks, Seoul delivered a warning to Tokyo against allowing its planes to fly at low altitude toward South Korean warships.
The two governments plan to hold additional consultations on the issue.