A study of the territorial dispute between Japan and Korea over Liancourt Rocks, a small cluster of barren, rocky islets in the Sea of Japan that Japanese call Takeshima and Koreans call Dokdo.
IHT: "A fierce Korean pride in a lonely group of islets"
AP: "SKorean emotions run high over island dispute"
1903 Mar 30 - "Hwangseong Sinmun": "千山島에 二百二十名"
One interesting thing about the article is that it says that 220 people were living on Usando (千山島에 二百二十名) and about 1,000 people were living on "Jukdo" (竹島에 約 千名), which is pronounced as "Takeshima" in Japanese. However, it also seems to be saying something about Japanese on Ulleungdo (鬱陵島), so it is possible that the Takeshima in the article was not referring to Ulleungdo. It is also possible that there was another "Usando" because I think I also remember their being another Usando on the West Coast of Korea.
Anyway, I would like some help in translating this article, which is not very clear. There may even be a record of the Japanese article it referred to, which would probably have also been published in March 1903. This may be an important piece of evidence, so I hope people will help me understand it. The article can also be found HERE.
Click twice to enlarge
1907 - "Chodeung Daehan Jiji" (初等大韓地誌)
Chapter 1: Location and Boundaries
The Korean Empire is located in the eastern part of Asia. Its neighbor to the southeast is Japan, and it borders Russian territory on the northeast. The west and north border Manchuria, and the southern border faces faces the sea. Its northern latitude stretches from 33 degrees 13 minutes to 43 degrees 2 minutes. Its eastern longitude stretches from 125 degrees 50 minutes to 130 degrees 58 minutes. The eastern point is Ulleungdo in Uldo County of North Gyeongsang Province, and the western point is at Cape Jangsan in Jangyeong County in Hwanghae Province. The the southern point is Port Moseul on the island of Jeju in South Jolla Province, and the northern point is Tomun River in North Hamgyeong Province. The area is 82,000 square ri.
Chapter 22: Scenic Communities
Uldo is the old Ulleungdo. Its northern latitude stretches from 130 degrees 45 minutes to 35 minutes. It’s eastern longitude stretches from 37 degrees 34 minutes to 31 minutes. Three peaks prop up the sky. Its area is about 504 square ri. It produces many medical herbs and much timber. Usando is southeast of here.
第一課 : 位置와 境界
大韓帝國의 位置는 亞細亞洲의 東部에 在하니 其境界는 同南은 日本을 鄰하고 東北은 俄領과 接하고 西와 北은 滿洲를 界하고 南은 海를 臨하니 北緯三十三度十三分에 越하야 四十三度二分에 止하고 東經一百二十五度五十分에 越하야 百三十度 五十八分에 止하니 東은 慶尙北道 鬱島郡 鬱陵島이오 西는 黃海道長淵郡 長山串이오 南은 全羅南道 濟州島 毛瑟浦 [摹瑟浦]오 北은 咸鏡北道 土門江이니 面積이 八萬二千方里니라.
第二十二課 : 勝地 都會
鬱嶋는 古鬱陵島이니 北緯 一百三十度 四十五分으로 三十五分에 至하며 東經三十七度 三十四分으로 三十一分에 지하니 三峯이 撑空하야 地方이 約 五百四方里오 藥材와 森林이 多産하며 于山嶋는 其東南에 在하니라.
1907 June - "Sinpyeon Daehan Jiri" (新編 大韓地理)
Uldo is Ulleungdo, which is in the middle of the sea about 400 ri away from Pyeonghae County’s Weolsong-po. In the third year of Gwangmu (1900), Uldo County was established and a magistrate was assigned. Its northern latitude is from 130 degrees 45 minutes to 53 minutes. Its eastern longitude is from 37 degrees 34 minutes to 31 minutes [The names for "latitude" and "longitude" are reversed.] The area is about 504 square ri. A tall mountain stands out in the center of the island. Its height is 4,000 cheok. There are no harbors on the shoreline, so it is extremely difficult for ships to tie up.
Flat ground is scarce on the whole island, but layers of fallen leaves and dried grass have accumulated and decomposed into dark, fertile soil, making it possible to have an abundant harvest without fertilizing. The annual output of soybeans, which is the island’s main product, is as much as 400 to 500 seok. The wood products include oak, paulownia, pine, and sandalwood. Grapes are also produced. On the shores, there is good production of sedum, which is clearly big. In the autumn, there are many flocks of woodcocks that are used as supplemental food. The fat is dissolved and supplied as lamp oil.
The residents of the island total about 500 families. About 300 Japanese families come to live on the island temporarily, which has caused the government to issue a standing order for them all to vacate and return home. There is a spring on the island that gushes out water that tastes slightly sour, but the island residents call it mineral water. They drink it when they are sick and it seems to have a good effect. This is the source of carbonated water.
About 300 ri to the southeast of this island is an island commonly called “Yang-ko” Island. It has an area of about thirty ri. The shoreline is indented, so it is good for anchoring fishing boats, but there is still no firewood or drinking water available, so it is uninhabited. There are many sea lions and various sea products.
鬱島는 平海郡 越松浦 四百餘里海中에 在한 鬱陵島니 光武三年에 鬱島郡을 設하고 守를 寘하니 北緯 百三十度 四十五分乃至 五十三分. 東徑三十七度 三十四分乃至 三十一分 間에 在하야. 面積이 五百四 方里許며 中央에 高山이 屹立하야 고 – 四千 尺이며 沿岸의 港灣이 無하야 船舶의 碇繫가 甚難하니라
全島에 平地가 稀少하나 其地質은 落葉枯草가 堆積腐化한 黑土를 成함으로 膏腴하야 肥料를 不施하야도 農物이 豊碩하야 主産物의 大豆는 每年産額이 四五百石에 至하며 林産에는 欅, 桐, 松, 白檀香等이 有하며 또 葡萄가 産出하며 沿海에 良好한 石菜의 産額이 亦 大하니라. 秋季에 山鷸類가 多하야 副食物을 作하며 脂肪은 溶解하야 燈油에 供給하나니라.
本島住民은 五百餘戶며 日本人 三百餘戶가 一時에 來住함으로 政府에서 退去하란 命令이 有하야 至今에 盡歸하니라 島中의 一泉이 湧出하야 其味가 微酸하나 島民이 藥水라 稱하야 疾病時에 藥餌로 服用하면 効驗이 著見하니 此는 炭酸水의 源流니라.
本島東南約三百里에 一島가 유하야 俗稱 “양고”島라 云하니 長이 三十餘里오 沿岸이 屈曲하야 漁船의 碇泊이 便宜하나 薪材及 飮料水를 아즉 不得함으로 居人이 無하며 海馬와 各種海産이 多하니라.
Steve Barber in Korean News
Those of you who may not recognize the name "Steve Barber" may know him better as Toadface, Frogmouth, Wedgie, Zippertrout, or one of the other aliases he used to post under before getting caught. (See HERE.)
Steve had claimed that he had no affiliation with Koreans and did all the research on his own. Here is what he wrote back in 2006:
Kanganese, don’t lump me together with other Koreans on the Dokdo issue. I have done my studies on this subject on my own. My only connection with Koreans on this is for gathering maps and documents. Unlike Ponta and Pacifist I’m not an errand-boy for my local political organization such as Shimane Prefecture. I’m not Korean nor am I a part of a political movement like Ponta.The following email was discovered on the anti-Japanese Web site "Killzap.cafe," a name that looks very similar to "Killjap.cafe":
Korea's "Maeil Kyeongje" newspaper has also written an article about Steve Barber HERE, which says that Steve Barber's college major was computer studies, but that he came to teach English in Korea, where he became interested in the Dokdo issue two years ago.
From: steve barber [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Thursday, August 31,
2006 1:01 AMTo: email@example.comSubject: RE:
From: steve barber [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2006 1:01 AMTo: email@example.comSubject: RE: Hanmaumy
Dr Mr Cho:
I went onto Hanmaumy’s website and just by the visual images I saw I can say his website is the best I’ve ever seen !! I’m very impressed.
The problem is that it is all in Korean language. Koreans already believe Dokdo is Korean land so Hanmaumy is in a sense wasting his time. We must get this valuable information out to the global community. If the Dokdo issue ever goes to the ICJ it is absolutely necessary that all of the related information be available to the public in English.
Mr Cho I must stress these days there are more Japanese working with foreigners promoting Takeshima is Japanese and they are doing it in English while working with idiots like Gerry Bevers. Like after WW2 Korea isn’t getting its message out there about Dokdo.
That being said, Mr Lovmo’s site is up and running and I’ve been working on my own to try to gather information and translate it but to be honest my lack of ability in Korean language makes it impossible to gather images on some of these Korean National Archives Websites because they are totally in Korean.
We should use Mr Lovmo’s site because it is already quite popular and it has the greatest amount of exposure on the English/Foreign Internet.
Please me must work together to get the message out there. I will do my best. In addtion please tell Hanmaumy I am going to gather images from his website and translate as well as I can for Mark.
I would love to meet both of you someday.
It also says that his Korean is not very good, so his 34-year-old Korean wife has been translating into English the Japanese and Korean documents for him.
The article quoted Steve Barber as saying that his consistent position has been that Dokdo was Korean territory in the past, is Korean territory now, and must be Korean territory in the future. (Well, I guess he can no longer claim that he is a neutral party.)
Anyway, for someone who needs his Korean wife to translate the Japanese and Korean documents for him, Steve Barber seems pretty confident in his belief that Dokdo is historically Korean territory. Well, maybe if I were a 44-year-old man with a 34-year-old Korean wife, I might start supporting Korea's claim, as well.
Now that Yonhap has reported on Mark Lovmo, an elementary school teacher in Minnesota who needed a Korean friend to translate for him, and Steve Barber, an Canadian English teacher in Korea who needs his Korean wife to translate for him, I wonder who will be the next Korean-illiterate, Dokdo-loving foreigner that Yonhap News finds to interview?
Here are more Korean newspaper and news sites reporting the Steve Barber article:
How about a trade?
If one of you will translate and post on the Ulleungdo section of 田淵友彦's 1905 geography text 韓國新地理 for me, then I will translate the Korean version for you. The links to the relevant pages are "07" and "08" in the link I provided.
Is it a deal?
"Projects Unveiled to Reinforce Sovereignty Over Dokdo"
- Renovate a shelter for fishermen on Dokdo
- Develop infrastruction on Ulleungdo
- Begin joint projects to protect the enviroment around Dokdo
- Promote international awareness of Japan's repeated claims over the islets
- Rocks, breakwaters, and a museum dedicated to Ahn Yong-bok (who the Korea Times thinks defended Korea's ownership of Dokdo in in the 18th century instead of the 17th)
- Strengthen education and promotional actitivities about Dokdo
- Expand military drills and beef up the security of Dokdo by deploying more patrol ships near the islets
South Korea has a million-man North Korean army on its northern border, yet she seems to be more worried about an invasion of Dokdo.
1880 Map of Japan from Adolf Stieler's Hand Atlas 7th Edition
Professor Claims Korea's National Institute of Korean History Mistranslated 1714 Passage
The passage was a report from Jo Seok-myeong (趙錫命), who had been sent to Gangwon Province (江原道 - 강원도) to inspect the coastal defenses of the Yeongdong (嶺東 - 영도) region. In his report, he said that the people in the ports there told him that there was an island visible to the east of Ulleungdo that was on the Japanese border. The following is the relevant passage, Professor Kim Ho-dong's translation, and my English translation:
Now, HERE is the translation of the passage by Korea's Korea's National Institute of Korean History (국사편찬위원회) and my English translation:
辛酉江原道御使趙錫命 論嶺東海防疎虞狀略曰 詳聞浦人言 平海蔚珍 距鬱陵島最近 船路無少礙 鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境.
포인(浦人)의 말을 상세히 듣건대, '평해平海), 울진(蔚珍)은 울릉도(鬱陵島)와 거리가 가장 가까와서 뱃길에 조금도 장애가 없고, 울릉도 동쪽에 섬이 보이는데 왜경(倭境)에 접해 있다'고 하였습니다.
I listened carefully to the people in the ports (浦人) who said, "Pyeonghae (平海) and Uljin (蔚珍) are closest to Ulleungdo, and there are no obstructions along the sea route. Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island that is on the Japanese border."
In a footnote on the translation in his book (pp. 119 - 120) , Professor Kim Ho-dong wrote the following:
辛酉江原道御使趙錫命 論嶺東海防疎虞狀略曰 詳聞浦人言 平海蔚珍 距鬱陵島最近 船路無少礙 鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境.
“포인(浦人)의 말을 상세히 듣건대, ‘평해(平海)·울진(蔚珍)은 울릉도(鬱陵島)와 거리가 가장 가까와서 뱃길에 조금도 장애(障礙)가 없고, 울릉도 동쪽에는 섬이 서로 잇달아 왜경(倭境)에 접해 있다.’고 하였습니다.
I listened carefully to the people in the ports (浦人) who said, "Pyeonghae (平海) and Uljin (蔚珍) are closest to Ulleungdo, and there are no obstructions along the sea route. East of Ulleungdo, islands connect to each other to reach the Japanese border.
Professor Kim does not offer an explanation for the mistranslation by Korea's National Institute of Korean History, but I think they mistranslated it because they realized the passage supported Japan's claim to Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). The passage was essentially saying that the island visible to the east of Ulleungdo was Japanese territory. In those days, a country's farthermost islands represented its border. Apparently, the Korean fishermen had seen Japanese fishing boats coming from the direction of the island and assumed it was Japanese.
그런데 국편의 최근 번역에는 이것을 "포인(浦人)의 말을 상세히 듣건대, ‘평해(平海)·울진(蔚珍)은 울릉도(鬱陵島)와 거리가 가장 가까와서 뱃길에 조금도 장애(障礙)가 없고, 울릉도 동쪽에는 섬이 서로 잇달아 왜경(倭境)에 접해 있다.’고 하였습니다'라고 잘못 번역하고 있다.
However, the National Institute of Korean History has recently been mistranslating the passage as, "I listened carefully to the people in the ports (浦人) who said, "Pyeonghae (平海) and Uljin (蔚珍) are closest to Ulleungdo, and there are no obstructions along the sea route. East of Ulleungdo, islands connect to each other to reach the Japanese border."
If the Koreans had believed the island to be Korean territory, then they would not have referred to it as being "on the Japanese border," but, instead, would have referred to it with an expression similar to "接于我國境" (우리 국경에 접해있다), which means "on our country's border."
If you look at the full passage, you can see that the Korean official was worried about Japanese territory being so close to Korea, which was why he was urging the government to strengthen defenses in the Gangwondo area.
Gangwon Provincial inspector Jo Seok-myeong (趙錫命) discussed the neglected coastal defenses in the Yeongdong region. Here is a summary:I listened carefully to the people in the ports (浦人) who said, "Pyeonghae (平海) and Uljin (蔚珍) are closest to Ulleungdo, and there are no obstructions along the sea route. Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island that is on the Japanese border." In 1708 and 1712, strange-looking ships drifted to the borders of Goseong (高城) and Ganseong (杆城), so we know that Japanese ships frequently come and go. The government, however, says that the vast sea is a barrier, so there is no need to worry, but how can we be sure that a future war will not break out in the Yeongdong region instead of the Yeongnam region? We cannot allow even a little delay in taking measures to be thoroughly prepared.
In accordance with the request, the Myodang (廟堂) requested that Gangwondo be reprimanded to cracked down on its military officials.
Interview with Mark Lovmo about his Dokdo Site
Same photo, different effects?
I am not sure which photo originally appeared in the Chosun Ilbo article HERE, but the second photo is the one that now appears in the article. The difference between the two photos has been discussed on the Internet, so it is possible that the photos have been changed. Both photos are stored in the Chosun.com image database.
"Dokdo is Korean Territory"?
The Korean videos are designed to play on Korean emotions while relying on people's ignorance of the facts. That is why we see many Korean commenters here claim that Korea has a lot of evidence to support her claim on Dokdo, but then those same people are unable to explain what that evidence is.
Anyway, enjoy the video. At least, the music is nice.
1966 Japanese map from Junior High School Textbook
1951 June: New Zealand's view
Commentary on Draft Treaty by the Department of State on June 1, 1951
To follow is about New Zealand's view from the "Foreign Relations with the United States" (1951, Vol.VI pp. 1060-1061)
"In view of the need to ensure that none of the islands near
Japanis left in disputed
sovereignty, the New Zealand Government favours the precise delimitation by
latitude and longitude of the territory to be retained by
Japanas suggested in Article 1 of the 's draft. The adoption of this device could for example make it clear that the United Kingdom Habomai Islandsand Shikotan at present under Russian occupation will remain with ." Japan
(Comment-In the discussions at
Washingtonthe British agreed to drop
this proposal when the
U.S.pointed to the psychological disadvantages of seeming to fence Japanin by a continuous line around . The Japanese had objected Japan
to the British proposal when it was discussed with them in
. Tokyo willingness to U.S.
specify in the treaty that Korean territory included Quelpart, Port Hamilton and Dagelet also helped to persuade the British. As regards the Habomais and Shikotan, it has seemed more realistic, with the
USSRin occupation of the islands, not specifically to stipulate their return to .) Japan
[Lots of thanks to opp]
1951 April - May: Joint UK and USA Draft
But this commentary is not right. The draft which
To follow is the original
- Territorial Clauses Part I.
Japanese sovereignty shall continue over all the islands and adjacent islets and rocks lying within an area bounded by a line from latitude 30°N, in a north-westerly direction to approximately latitude 33°N. 128 ° E. then northward between the islands of
Quelpart, Fukue-Shima bearing north - easterly between Korea and the island of
Tsushima, continuing in this direction with the islands of Oki-Retto to the south-east and Take Shima to the north-west curving with the coast of Honshu, then northerly skirting
Rebun Shima passing easterly through Soya Kaikyo approximately 142° E., then in
a south-easterly direction parallel to the coast of Hokkaido to 145° 30’ E.
entering Numero Kaikyo at approximately 44° 30’ N. in a south-westerly direction
to approximately 43° 45' N. and 145° 15' E., then in a south-easterly direction
to approximately 43° 35' N. 145 ' 35' E., then bearing north-easterly to
approximately 44° N., so excluding Kunashiri, and curving to the east and then
bearing south-westerly to include Shikotan at 147° 5' E., being the most
easterly point, then in a south-westerly direction with the coastlin6 towards
the Nanpo Group of Islands curving south to include Sofu-Gan (Lot's Wife) at 29°
50' N., veering to the north-west towards the coast of Honshu, then at
approximately 33° N. turning south-westerly past Shikoku to 30° N. to include
YakuShima and excluding Kuchino Shima and the Ryuku Islands south of latitude
30° North. The line above described is plotted on the map attached to the
present treaty (Annex I).(') In the case of a discrepancy between the map
attached to the textual description of the line, the latter shall prevail.
FROM:The National Archives of the United Kingdom FO371/92538,FJ1022/222
Anglo - American Meetings on Japanese Peace Treaty.
Summary Record of First Meeting held in
Mr. C.H. Johnston
Mr. G.G. Fitzmurice
Mr. F.S. Tomlison
Mr. K.R.C. Pridham
Mr. John M. Allison
Brig. Gen. Conrad Snow
Mr. Robert A. Fearly
Mr. Noel Hemmendinger
Mr. C. Arnold Fraleigh
Mr. Douglas Overton
Mr. Allison said that the American View was that our defining of the Japanese boundaries would have a bad psychological effect on the Japanese and emphasize the contraction of their country. The Americans would prefer a wording which emphasized the full sovereignty of Japan such territory as we should leave her and, exclude by name from her sovereignty and only such territory and islands as might be necessary
to avoid confusion.
FROM:The National Archives of the United Kingdom FO371/92545, FJ1022/342
Anglo - American Meetings on Japanese Peace Treaty.
Summary Record of Seventh Meeting held at 10.30 a.m. on the 2nd
Mr. C.H. Johnston
Mr. G.G. Fitzmurice
Mr. F.A. Vallat
Mr. F.S. Tomlison
Mr. K.R.C. Pridham
Mr. John M. Allison
Brig. Gen. Conrad Snow
Mr. Robert A. Fearly
UNITED STATES CHAPTER III
Both Delegations agreed that it would be preferable to specify
only the territory over which
was renouncing sovereignty. In Japan
this connection, United States Article 3 would require the insertion of the
three islands Quelpart, Port Hamilton and Dagelet. It was left undecided whether
the sentence in British Article 2 requiring Japan to recognize whatever
settlement the United Nations might make in Korea should be maintained or not.
It was agreed that further consideration should be given to the drafting of the
sentence dealing with
’s renunciation of her mandates. Japan
WASHINGTON, D. C.
2nd May, 1951
FROM:The National Archives of the United Kingdom FO371/92547,FJ1022/376
They reached an agreement finally. They abandoned to express the territory in details using latitudes and longitudes, instead they adopted a simple expression as
Below is the record of the Joint
Japanrenounces all rights, titles and claims to Korea(including Quelpart, Port Hamilton and Dagelet)', [ and the Pesca-dores]; and also all rights, titles and claims in connection with the mandate system, [or based on any past activity of Japanese nationals in the Antarctic area]. Formosa Japanaccepts the action of the United Nations Security Council of April 2, 1947, in relation to extending the trusteeship system to Pacific .Islands formerly under mandate to . ( Japan reserves position on passages between square brackets.) U.K.
(Foreign Relations of the United States; 1951 Vol.VI p.p. 1024-1026)
1950 August: U.S. Draft of the Peace Treaty
- CHAPTER IISOVEREIGNTY
- 2. Subject to the provisions hereof and of any other relevant treaties, the Allied and Associated Powers accept the full sovereignty of the Japanese people, and their freely chosen representatives, over Japan and its territorial waters.
- 4. Japan recognizes the independence of Korea and will base its relation With Korea on the resolutions ,adopted by the United
Nations Assembly on December _, 1948
1950 July: Commentary on Draft Treaty by the Department of State
It laid emphasis on "not taken by violence and greed" and "none has been claimed by another power", these words are of course indicating that the author wrote the text keeping Liancourt Rocks in mind.
1. The territory of Japan shall comprise the four principal Japanese islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and Hokkaido and all adjacent minor islands, including the islands in the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai) , Tsushima, Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks), Oki Retto, Sado, Okujiri, Rebun Riishiri and all other islands in the Japan Sea (Nippon Kai) within a line connecting the farther shores of Tsushima, Takeshima and Rebun; the Goto archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands north of 29°N. Latitude, and all other islands of the East China Sea east of Longitude 127°east of Greenwich and north of 29°N. Latitude; the Izu Islands southward to and including Sofu Gan (Lot’s Wife) and all other islands of the Philippine Sea nearer to the four principal islands than the islands named; and the Habomai group and Shikotan lying to the east and south of a line extending from a point in 43°35’ N. Latitude, 145° 30’ E. Longitude, and to the south of a line drawn due east on the parallel in 44°N. Latitude. All of the islands identified above, with a three-mile belt of territorial waters, shall belong to
“All of the islands mentioned above are shown on the map attached to the present Treaty.”
Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku and
Hokkaido– was assured in the Potsdam Japan
Declaration that it would be permitted to retain sovereignty of the four home
The Islands of the Inland Sea, Oki Retto, Sado, Okujiri, Rebun and Rishiri – These islands and lesser islands in the Japan Sea east of Tsushima, Takeshima and Rebun are almost exclusively populated by Japanese, have long been recognized as Japanese, were not “ taken by violence and greed”, and are closer to Japan than to any other nation. None has been claimed by another power and
’s right to retain them is not likely to be questioned in the treaty negotiation. In 1948 the population of Oki Retto was 44,000, of Sado 125,000, of Okujiri 7,000, of Rebun 9,000, and of Riishiri 20,000. Japan
And the commentary illustrates Liancourt Rocks as follows:
It also mentioned that Liancourt Rcoks have never ever claimed by Korea.
Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks) –
The two uninhabited islets of Takeshima, almost equidistant from
Japan and Korea in Japan Sea, were formally claimed by Japan in 1905, apparently without protest by Korea, and placed under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture. They are breeding ground for sea lions, and records show that for a long time Japanese fishermen migrated there during certain seasons. Unlike
Dagelet Islanda short not appear ever to have been claimed by . The islands have been used by Korea forces during the occupation as a bombing range and have possible value as a weather or radar station site. U.S.
(Many thanks to けぺ)
CIA - The World Factbook
Military Demarcation Line within the 4-km wide
Demilitarized Zone has separated North from South Korea since 1953; periodic
incidents with North Korea in the Yellow Sea over the Northern Limiting Line,
which South Korea claims as a maritime boundary; South Korea and Japan claim
Liancourt Rocks (Tok-do/Take-shima), occupied by South Korea since 1954.
Although Korean government insists that there is no dispute, the world know there is.
Korean Times: "Dokdo Research Institute Opens"
Does that mean the "research institute" will be doing research in search of the historical truth?
No, it is not a truth-seeking research institute; it is a "strategy-development" research institute.
According to the Chairman of the Northeast Asian History Foundation, Korea's Dokdo Research Institute "will develop long-term strategies and measures in cooperation with related government bodies to counter Japan's repeated claims to the islets." Does that sound like they will be seeking truth?
Based on the above description, I think I would rename the institute to something like the "Dokdo Defense Institute" or the "Dokdo Institute of Public Englightenment and Propaganda."
The article also says two "foreign scholars" will be working with the Koreans. One is a "scholar" named Paul Hensel from the University of North Texas, who is said to be a territory dispute expert. The other "scholar" is Anders Karlsson, who is the chief of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of London.
I do not know how Korea managed to convince these two "foreign scholars" to participate in their "research," but if these foreigners are true scholars in search of truth, then I would suggest that they disavow themselves as soon as possible because I do not believe the people at the Dokdo Research Institute are interested in hearing the truth.
Of course, maybe the foreigners are just there as English proofreaders?
1953 December: SECRET SECURITY INFORMATION by Dulles
As well as many other documents, this document shows that USA knew that Liancourt Rocks belong to Japan and that ROK illegally occupied the rocks. But USA didn't want to intervene in the dispute between the two countries. This "neutral" stance is the same today.
DATE: December 9, 1953, 7 pm
TOKYO1387 RPTD INFO 497 FROM DEPT. SEOUL Tokyo’s 1306 repeated 129. Seoul
Department aware of peace treaty determinations and
US administrative decisions which would lead Japanese expect us act in their far [favor] in any dispute with ROK over sovereignty Takeshima. However to best our knowledge formal statement US position to ROK in Rusk Note August 10, 1951 has not rpt not been communicated Japanese. Department believes may be advisable or
necessary at sometime inform Japanese Government US position on Takeshima.
Difficulty this point is question of timing as we do not rpt not wish add
another issue to already difficult ROK-Japan negotiations or involve ourselves
further than necessary in their controversies, especially in light many current
issues pending with ROK.
Despite US view peace treaty a determination under
terms Potsdam Declaration and that treaty leaves Takeshima to Japan, and despite our participation in Potsdam and treaty and action under administrative
agreement, it does not rpt not necessarily follow us automatically responsible
for settling or intervening in Japan’s international disputes, territorial or
otherwise, arising from peace treaty. US view re Takeshima simply that of one of
many signatories to treaty. Article 22 was framed for purpose settling treaty
disputes. New element mentioned paragraph 3 your 1275 of Japanese feeling United States should protect Japan from ROK pretensions to Takeshima cannot rpt not be considered as legitimate claim for US action under security treaty. For more serious threat to both US and
Japanin Soviet occupation Habomais does not rpt not impel UStake military action against nor rpt nor would would Japanese seriously contend such was our obligation despite our public declaration Habomais are Japanese territory. While not rpt not desirable impress on Japanese Government security treaty represents no rpt no legal commitment on part US, Japan should understand benefits security treaty should not rpt not be USSR
dissipated on issues susceptible judicial settlement. Therefore as stated DEPTEL
Pusan365 rptd info 1360 November 26, 1952 and restated DEPTEL Tokyo
1198 US should not rpt not become involved in territorial dispute arising from
Korean claim to Takeshima.
Issue seems less acute at moment so perhaps no rpt no action on our part required. However in case issue revived believe our general line should be that this issue, if it cannot rpt not be settled by Japanese and Koreans themselves, is kind of issue appropriate for presentation International Court of Justice.
SECRET SECURITY INFORMATION