SEOUL, March 28 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol should have stormed out of a summit with Japan if the neighboring country raised the issue of South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo, opposition leader Lee Jae-myung said Tuesday.
Lee of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) made the remark during a campaign speech in the southeastern county of Changnyeong, about 265 kilometers south of Seoul, ahead of local by-elections, stepping up criticism of Yoon over his summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier this month.
The DP and other critics have lashed out at Yoon for his decision ahead of the summit to resolve the thorny issue of Japan's wartime forced labor by compensating Korean victims on South Korea's own without asking Japan for contributions.
Criticism rose further after Japanese news outlets reported that unannounced topics were also discussed between Yoon and Kishida, such as the issue of South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo, Japan's wartime sexual slavery and Seoul's import ban on fisheries products from Japan's Fukushima.
"The other side says they talked about Dokdo, but there is no word from this side," Lee said. "If they say Dokdo is Japanese territory ... the president of the Republic of Korea should storm out of the meeting, shouldn't he?"
Lee also urged the government to strongly protest Tokyo's approval of new textbooks that appeared to water down its wrongdoings during its colonial rule of South Korea from 1910-45 while strengthening its sovereignty claim over South Korea's Dokdo.