Congressman Ed Royce of California makes fool of himself with "Dokdo" comment.

U.S. Congressman Edward Royce (CA)
According to a May 19 Yonhap News article entitled "Royce reiterates Dokdo is Korean territory," U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward Royce, while rejecting Japan's claims to Liancourt Rocks, supposedly made the following comment to a conference of Korean Americans at the Congress:

"This has been the case throughout history. The only time that I've ever seen it show up differently on the map was after Japan occupied Korea ... then Japan claimed South Korea -- all of Korea and claimed Dokdo island."

How could "Dokdo" show up differently on a map when it had never showed up on any maps prior to the Japanese annexation of Korea? And Liancourt Rocks never appeared on any Korean map by any name prior to Japan's annexation of Korea.

On July 19, 1951, after reading the request by the Korean Ambassador in Washington that Dokdo and Parangdo be added as Korean territory to the Japan Treaty, John Foster Dulles asked the location of the islands. The Korean Ambassador said he believed they were in the general vicinity of Ullungdo. When Dulles asked if they had been Korean territory before the Japanese annexation, the Korean Ambassador said, "Yes," after which Dulles said that if that were the case, there would no problem adding the two islands. The following paragraph is the recorded description of the relevant part of the meeting:
Mr. Dulles noted that paragraph 1 of the Korean Ambassador's communication made no reference to the Island of Tsushima and the Korean Ambassador agreed that this had been omitted. Mr. Dulles then inquired as to the location of the two islands, Dokdo and Parangdo, Mr. Ha stated that these were two small islands lying in the Sea of Japan, he believed in the general vicinity of Ullungdo. Mr. Dulles asked whether these islands had been Korean before the Japanese annexation, to which the Ambassador replied in the affirmative. If that were the case, Mr. Dulles saw no particular problem in including these islands in the pertinent part of the treaty which related t the renunciation of Japanese territorial claims to Korean territory.
As you can see in the above passage, Mr. Dulles was ready and willing to give Dokdo and Parangdo to Korea if Korea could only tell him where they were located and prove that they had been Korean territory before the Japanese annexation. Unfortunately for Korea, the Koreans could do neither; they could only say they thought the islands were near either Uleungdo or "Takeshima Rock," which means they did not know that Dokdo was supposed to be Liancourt Rocks or that Parangdo was actually in the East China Sea. In fact, according to THIS KOREAN ARTICLE, the Koreans did not find the submerged Parangdo rocks until 1973, about 150 kilometers southwest of Korea's Jeju Island. And it was a submerged reef, not an island, as Koreans had claimed. If Dokdo had really been Korean territory, one would think they would have known where it was.

In an August 7, 1951 telegram to the U.S. Ambassador to Korea, John J. Muccio, Mr. Dulles wrote the following:
Neither our geographers nor Korean Embassy have been able to locate Dokdo or Parangdo Islands. Therefore unless we hear immediately cannot consider this Korean proposal to confirm their sovereignty over these islands.
Then just three days later on August 10, 1951, Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk wrote the following to the Korean ambassador:
As regards the island of Dokdo, otherwise known as Takeshima or Liancourt Rocks, this normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture of Japan. The island does not appear ever before to have been claimed by Korea. It is understood that the Korean Government's request that "Parangdo" be included among the islands named in the treaty as having been renounced by Japan has been withdrawn.
As you can see, after the Americans finally found out that Korea was claiming Liancourt Rocks as Korean territory, it did not take them any time at all to decide that the Korean claim on the Rocks was as ridiculous as their claim on Japan's island of Tsushima had been, and Mr. Rusk politely told them so. Apparently, the U.S. had already done its homework and confirmed that Liancourt Rocks was Japanese territory. The fact that the Korean ambassador and the Korean embassy staff did not know the location of "Dokdo," even while knowing about "Takeshima Rock" (Liancourt Rocks), probably sealed the deal in favor of Japan.

Finally, in a "Top Secret" report of his mission to the Far East in 1954, General James Alward Van Fleet, Special Ambassador for U.S. President Eisenhower, wrote the following:
4. Ownership of Dokto Island 
The Island of Dokto (otherwise called Liancourt and Take Shima) is in the Sea of Japan approximately midway between Korea and Honshu (131.80E, 36.20N). This Island is, in fact, only a group of barren, uninhabited rocks. When the Treaty of Peace with Japan was being drafted, the Republic of Korea asserted its claims to Dokto but the United States concluded that they remained under Japanese sovereignty and the Island was not included among the Islands that Japan released from its ownership under the Peace Treaty. The Republic of Korea has been confidentially informed of the United States position regarding the islands but our position has not been made public. Though the United States considers that the islands are Japanese territory, we have declined to interfere in the dispute. Our position has been that the dispute might properly be referred to the International Court of Justice and this suggestion has been informally conveyed to the Republic of Korea.
Congressman Royce needs to stop pandering to the large Korean population in his district (Northern Orange County) and start showing some moral backbone. Rather than making a ridiculously false statement just to get votes, he should have simply said that the matter of "Dokdo" was something that Japan and Korea needed to work out between themselves.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, Volume VI

7 Aug 1951 Telegram to Muccio from Dulles

10 Aug 1951 Letter from Dean Rusk to Korean Ambassador
Excerpt from the Van Fleet Mission Report submitted to President Eisenhower on 4 Oct 1954


1895 - Former Korean Customs Official F. H. Morsel (牟世乙) said "Wosan" (Usan) an Islet a quarter of a mile off Ulluengdo

This post was originally made in 2011, but I came across it again today and noticed two things. The first was that only one person had commented. The second was that the man who wrote the article was F. H. Morsel, a German who once worked as the Chemulpo Harbor Master for the Korean Customs Service and a friend of James F. Mitchell (25 May 1829 - 11 June 1903), "The Timber King of Ulleung Island." In the 1895 book entitled "The Korean Repository" (Vol. 2), Mr. Morsel described Ulleungdo's neighboring island of "Wosan" (Usan) as follows:
 On the south east is an islet, called "Wo-san, about 500 feet high, a quarter of a mile from the main island with a deep passage between the two.  
Unless examined closely, a landing seems impossible, but between Wo-san and the point projecting from the main land, there is a small beach and here close to the shore a vessel can find anchorage in from 16 to 25 fathoms, but even this harbor is available only in fine weather.
You can read more about James F. Mitchell and his timber business on Ulleungdo HERE.

As for Ferdinand H. Morsel (牟世乙), he was a German working in China in some way with the Chinese Merchant Company when he was hired by the Korean government is 1883 to work as a "maritime pilot" (指泊所) for the Korean Customs Office in Incheon. The following article, which was printed in the September 16, 1899 edition of "The Japan Weekly Mail," briefly introduces Mr. Morsel and talks about a book he had just published entitled "Korea: General Information on the Approaches to Chemulpo Harbour and Navigation of the Hankang" (1899). Mr. Morsel seems to have been somewhat of an expert on Korea's seas and waterways, and based on another article posted below,  he seems to have also known a great deal about the geography of Ulleungdo.
Mr. F. H. Morsel, formerly Acting Harbour Master in the Korean Customs, and since 189I commander of a steamer on the Han River and pilot for vessels entering Chemulpo, has just published, from the Shanghai Mercury Office, a small volume called "Korea." It contains general information about the approaches to Chemulpo harbour and the navigation of the Han-kang.  
There is a great want of any trustworthy charts for the aid of ship-masters in those waters. The Japanese naval authorities made some surveys of the coast northward of Chemulpo in 1890, but their charts, being in the Japanese language, are of no use to foreigners. We may here refer to a curious statement which finds a place in Mr. Morsel's pages. "To the North from Chemulpo," he writes, " no surveys have been made since the opening of Korea to foreign intercourse by any other except the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1890, and it was then done by them for their own particular use, for at that time it was well-known to them that they intended to go to war with China, which broke out in 1894."  
A strange assertion surely! On the very next page Mr. Morsel tells us that the east coast has been well surveyed by the Imperial Russian Navy, but he does not infer any bellicose intention on Russia's part. That by the way, however. We note that according to Mr. Morsel the dangers of navigating Korean waters have been exaggerated, the absence of charts, not the presence of perils, being chiefly responsible. The Han River, however, gets a bad character from him. It changes its conditions perpetually, and a chart made of its course to-day might be quite useless six months hence. The best boats for navigating it, Mr. Morsel thinks, would be flat-bottomed craft, drawing from two to three feet when loaded, and having stern-wheels.  
We are not in a position, of course, to express any opinion about the accuracy of the information contained in the book, but the author's painstaking minuteness is quite apparent, and we should imagine that the volume will prove of great value to every ship-master visiting Chemulpo or navigating the Han-kang.
Also, Ferdinand H. Morsel's name (牟世乙) was listed among the tax officials in the 12/29/1883 edition of the Hanseong Sunbo (漢城旬報), as you can see below. His name, job, and nationality is outlined in red:

Below Ferdinand H. Morsel writes of Ulleungdo as if he had actually been there, but more probably his friend James F. Mitchell described the island to him with much detail and emotion. Mr. Mitchell had also worked as a ship's captain. Also, Mr. Morsel was friendly with the Russians, who surveyed Ulleungdo and the eastern coast of Korea.


In an 1895 book entitled "The Korean Repository" (Vol. 2), F. H. Morsel describes "Wolung Do" (Ulleungdo), on pages 412-413, as having an islet that was a quarter of a mile off the southeast shore of the main island that was about 500 feet high and was named "Wo-san" (Usan).

In spite of a discrepancy in compass direction and distance, Mr. Morsel was almost certainly describing Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島 - 죽도), which is about one and quarter miles off Ulleungdo's northeast shore.
     WOL-UNG-DO or Matsusima as it is called by the Japanese, is an island off the east coast of Korea, 37° 48' north latitude and 130° 17' east longitude. It is about 190 miles from Fusan, 170 from Wonsan and 63 miles direct from the coast. I think this will be found more correct than the position given by the charts in common use, with the exception of those surveys made by the Japanese and Russians.
Explorers of those waters first named the island Dagelet. Some navigators gave it the position of another island and called it Argonaut and so named it on the charts. About 50 years ago, careful surveys were made by Russian, English and French navigators and it was then found that the island Argonaut had no existence, only Dagelet. There is no doubt the sailors who first located Argonaut, after leaving Dagelet got into a fog and after a day's sail, with perhaps contrary winds and currents, sighted Dagelet again and placed it on the chart as another island.
   Wol-ung-do is a gem in the sea. Notwithstanding its distance from the mainland the right of the Korean government to the island, has never been questioned by the Japanese government. The length from east to west is about ten miles, from north to south about six and a half. Seen from the distance it looks like a dark towering rock, but on nearer approach it will be  seen to be composed of a collection of conical hills, with a peak 3,000 feet high rising from the center and having the appearance of being supported by the smaller ones. The shore is steep and rugged; on all sides the water is very deep. A number of detached rocks, some having a height of 300 feet, are found near by. On the south east is an islet, called "Wo-san, about 500 feet high, a quarter of a mile from the main island with a deep passage between the two. 
Unless examined closely, a landing seems impossible, but between Wo-san and the point projecting from the main land, there is a small beach and here close to the shore a vessel can find anchorage in from 16 to 25 fathoms, but even this harbor is available only in fine weather.

The inland is not inhabited, at least not permanently. In the spring Koreans visit it and remain until autumn and occupy their time building junks which are taken to the coast and sold. The island is not cultivated further than what is required to sustain the junk builders during their stay. There is good, fresh, cool water on the island.
W'ol-ung-do, whatever the Korean meaning may be. is an emerald gem of many shades. The whole island is rich in vegetation, wild flowers abound while among the trees are found the cedar, pine, teak, camphor and fir. The first three mentioned are not only numerous, but some of them are very large. Pine and teak from three to four feet in diameter can be found while the grain of the teak when sawed presents beautiful patterns. The camphor tree is not so plentiful, as most of the trees of this species have been pilfered. It is well worth the while of the owners of this beautiful spot to take good care of it and to guard its riches, for the island from its outer appearance is not alone a gem, but it is a real gem from the standpoint of the mineralogist, but where the door is open every one thinks he has a right to enter.
The rocks are of granite formation with veins of quartz and and gneiss. Gold, cinnabar, Dragon's blood or red sulphur of mereury are among the minerals found in the island. I believe others will yet be found, and it is for this, more than for its valuable trees that I call it a gem in the sea.
Japanese junks at times visited the island, camphor and teak are cut in convenient lengths, loaded and taken to the Kobe and O-aka market.
In 1884 a British subject, a friend of mine, obtained permission from the Korean government to cut timber on this island. The season was late and the emeute of December came on, so that he did not reach the island until the following March when he went there with fifty Japanese wood cutters. He spent four or five months felling trees, but was disturbed by a company of Japanese who likewise came armed with permission from the Korean government to cut timber. A dispute naturally arose, a lawsuit followed, which ended in wind, my friend left the island and the same party of Japanese made a second visit and took all the cut timber to Kobe.
F H. Morsel

1888 Sep 15 - "Woodcutting on Matsushima," The Japan Weekly Mail

The following was printed as a Letter to the Editor in the 15 September 1888 edition of "The Japan Weekly Mail." Entitled "Woodcutting on Matsushima," it points out a mistake made in an article written in Japan's "Nichi Nichi Shimbun." Does anyone know of the article to which the letter is referring?


1887 Inspection of Ulleungdo.

The following is a description of an 11-day inspection of Ulleungdo from the 9th to the 20th in the 4th lunar month of 1887, as reported in the Hanseong Jubo (漢城周報) on July 25, 1887, which was 5th day of the 6th lunar month.

I found a few interesting things in this report. One thing was that the Inspector and crew seemed to anchor their ships at Daehwangto Cove and then travel by land, skipping over the eastern shore of the island where they would have found the neighboring islands of Jukdo (竹島) and Gwaneumdo (觀音島). That would explain why the islands were not mentioned in the report. They seemed to leave Nari-dong (羅理洞) by the pass that led to beach that Lee Gyu-won described on his 1882 map as the "Japanese Boat Dock" (倭船艙), where they turned west and headed back along the shore toward Daehwangto Cove.
Below is my translation of the report. Please check it for mistakes; I was getting tired near the end.
English Translation
On the 5th day of the 6th lunar month (July 25, 1887) Gangwondo Governor Jeong Tae-ho (江原道觀察使 鄭泰好) reported as follows: 
According to a written report (牒呈內) from Pyeonghae County Magistrate and Ulleungdo Inspector Bak Tae-won (平海郡守 兼鬱陵島僉使朴泰遠), the inspector's Ulleungdo inspection proceeded as follows (僉使鬱陵島討搜次):  
Between 5 and 7 a.m. on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, [the inspector] had food, provisions, and assorted materials divided and loaded onto two ships. Leading forty people, including minor officials and sailors and their assistants (員役沙格), they all set out for the island. On the 9th, between 7 and 9 p.m. the inspector's ship was the first to arrive at Taehwangto Cove (大黃土浦). The supply ship (卜船) arrived soon afterwards. They then offloaded at the Island Magistrate’s official residence 65 seok of rice plants (正租), 40 seok of high-quality rice (大米), 25 seok of medium-quality rice (中米), 10 seok of soybeans (太), 5 seok of buckwheat (木麥), 3 seok of salt (鹽), and 2 seok of soy (醬). Afterwards, they gathered the residences to equally distribute the famine relief supplies. 
At daybreak on the 15th, they marched overland and arrived at Gokpo-dong (谷浦洞), which was surrounded by mountains of dense forest. As the valley entrance gradually widened, it was divided between hunters living among the hills and farmers who had cleared trees and made farmland. When they arrived at Tong-gumi (樋口尾), there were various strange sights, including cliffs that seemed to have been carved out and fold after fold of mountain peaks. Crossing over Gadodu (假道頭), the mountain rocks were very rugged, and paths were so threadlike that they could barely pass through in single file. They headed to Jangpo-dong (長浦洞), where a village had formed of people living in wooden huts. The rugged land had been sufficiently cultivated into farmland, but their water source was not deep enough to cultivate rice paddies. When they arrived there it was getting dark, so they spent the night. 
On the 16th, to get to Jangsa-dong (長社洞), they advanced toward Dobang Cove (道傍浦), where there were not many people living and where there were very few cultivated fields. There was one harbor back deep between two sheer cliffs. When they reached that harbor site (浦洞), it was thick with green ramie, and there were strange-looking rocks that spring up and seemed to have been carved. They had to climb the cliffs to continue on. When they arrived at Jukjeon-gumi (竹田邱尾), the bamboo groves were so scarce that there was barely enough to present as a tribute to the king. Then they came back over the ridge and spent the night. 
On the 17th, they entered Nari-dong (羅理洞). Then the area was vast. It was a good 30 ri of land. Accordingly, there were many places where rice paddies could be cultivated, but the trees were thick and overgrown, and there was still no clearing. They then came out to the harbor entrance, where there was a peak so pointed that it looked like a gimlet rising up to the sky. Turning, they came to Gwangam-dong (廣巖洞), where the mountains gradually opened up into level land with a lot of fertile soil. Also, when they arrived at Hyangmok Valley (香木谷), a village in between the cliffs left barely enough Chinese juniper to prepare the tribute to the king. Below there were the sea and a deep cave into which a colony of sea lions would disappear and reappear. They got two of them. Next to there was Hwangto Cave (黃土窟), from which they dug a little. 
On the 18th they returned to Daehwangto Cove, where they first anchored. They calculated the distance around the island to be about 160 ri, from north-to-south 70 ri, and east-to-west 60 ri
Farming Situation (農形) 
Barley and wheat (兩麥) were planted in the fall and both were bumper crops. The planting of red beans and soybeans (豆太) was in full swing, and the hemp (生麻) was gradually getting fuller.  
On the 20th between 3 and 5 p.m. they departed Ulleungdo. The force of the wind was poor, and fog was everywhere, so they sailed in circles until they were suddenly hit by wind and waves sometime between 7 and 9 p.m. on the 23rd, breaking the rudder (鴟板). The sailors did not know what to do. The night passed and the waves calmed enough that they could row a little. 
Between 10 a.m. and noon on the 25th, they barely made it to the waters in front of Samcheok military camp (三陟鎭). When they finally returned to the County Office on the 29th, they found that the supply ship had already returned to the county’s Gusan Camp (邱山鎭). 
According to established practice, they are sending a map of Ulleungdo, the situation on households and development, and tributes of red sandalwood incense (紫檀香), green bamboo (靑竹), sea lion pelts (可支魚皮), and red ocher (石間朱).

They traveled a thousand ri into the distant sea and returned safely, but honestly they were very lucky to do so. When the said inspector saw the island residents’ cruel and desperate living situation, he donated 600 ryang and bought foodstuff to take to the island to provide relief. The grains were as much as 150 seok. By doing this he gave strength to the enfeebled people on Ulleungdo so they could go on living. Actually, previous commanders had not done this. Not only was this the right thing to do, the kindness he showed can only be described as extremely praiseworthy.

I am sending you under my seal from my headquarters a book [entitled] "Various Features of Ulleungdo" (鬱陵島各形一本), two pieces of sandalwood incense in the original package (紫檀香 元封二吐) and ten more pieces in an additional package (加封十吐), three lengths of green bamboo (靑竹三個), six seung of red ocher (石間硃六승), and two sea lion pelts (可支魚皮二領). In addition, I am sending you a revised record of the resident households and cultivated land, which is the reason for this mounted-courier report (馳啓).
Original Chinese
同日 江原道觀察使 鄭泰好 謄報。平海郡守 兼鬱陵島僉使 朴泰遠 牒呈内 僉使鬱陵島搜討次。

閏四月初八日 卯時、粮饌雜物 分載二隻船 率員役沙格等四十名 齊發向島。初九日戌時、僉使船 先泊大黄土浦。卜船 鱗次到泊。正租六十五石、大米四十石、小米二十五石、太十石、木麥五石、鹽三石、醬二石、一一卸下 于島長公舎。後抄出民口 均排賑恤。

十五日早朝、離發陸行 抵到谷浦洞、則 山形抱擁 谷口稍濶、搆巣者隔岸分居 治畝者閥林爲耕。至樋口尾、則 峭壁層巒 奇恠萬狀、仍踰假道頭、則 峰岩危險 線路纔通。向往長浦洞, 則 板屋居生 自作一村 菑畬起耕 洽爲百畝、而以泉源不長 無水田可墾。日已昏黒 仍爲止宿。

十六日、轉向長社洞 出往道傍浦、則 居民不多 墾田尠少、而雙璧屹立 一港深通。至苧浦洞、則 青苧簇立 奇岩削出緣崖。而行入于竹田邱尾、則 篁林稀踈 僅備進獻之數。還爲踰嶺 止宿。

十七日、入于羅里洞、則 幅圓廣濶 洽爲一舎之地、雖多冝畓處、亂樹叢林 姑未開拓。 仍出海口、錐巖一峰 挿入半天。轉至廣巖洞、則 山開平陸 田多土桁。又到香木谷、則 村在巖壁間、故僅爲斫取 準備進上元數。其下臨水 窟穴深邃、而可支魚一隊出沒 捕得二頭。 傍有黄土窟、故如于掘取。


計其環一島周囘 爲一百六十餘里、而自坎至离 爲七十餘里、自震至兌 爲六十餘里。農形秋耕 兩麥墾皆豐熟 豆太方張耕播 生麻漸次茁茂。

二十日申時、島離發。風勢不利 瘴霧四塞 逗遛中洋。二十三日戌時、猝遇風浪 鴟板折傷 篙師莫知所措。經宵浪息 稍稍行。二十五日午時、艱辛抵到 于三陟鎭 前洋。同月二十九日 始爲還郡、則卜船亦已來泊 於本郡邱山鎭。

本島圖形 及 民戸起墾形止、與 進上紫檀香・青竹・可支魚皮・石間朱 依定式上送。今此搜討之行 千里層溟、無事往返 誠甚奇幸。該僉使、爲念新接島民之生涯 以其殘况、捐出六百兩 餐穀往哺 至爲一百五十石之多。島居殘民 賴以資活、此實 前僉使之所未行者也。揆以施惠 極庸嘉尚。
鬱陵島各形一本、紫檀香 元封二吐・加封十吐、青竹三箇、石間朱六升、可支魚皮二領、自臣營監封、并民戸墾田修錄上送。緣由馳啓。

25 July 1887, "漢城周報"

This page shows the date as 25 July 1887


Great Collection of Documents on the Draft Treaty of Peace with Japan

In 2011, Chaamiey provided THIS LINK to a well organization collect of WikiSouce Documents on the Draft Treaty of Peace with Japan. I do not remember if I clicked on the link back then, but I clicked on it today and was impressed. I saw documents I do not remember seeing before. I wonder if new documents have been added since Chaamiey first provided the link. Check it out.

1901 May - "Journal of Geography" (地学雑誌) - "An Island in the Sea of Japan"

In the May 1901 edition of Japan's "Journal of Geography" ("地学雑誌," 13輯148巻, 1901.5, pp. 301-302), the writer of the following article questioned the claim that a new island had been discovered in the Sea of Japan, which had been reported in several Japanese newspapers a month earlier. The writer believed the information on the so-called new island corresponded with that of an outcropping of rocks in the Sea of Japan known as Liancourt Rocks, though he added that a more detailed report would be needed to know for sure.

The newspaper reports of a new island in the Sea of Japan seem to have been sparked by an article in a 10 March 1901 publication of the Black Dragon Society, also known as "The Amur River Society." The Black Dragon Society article can be read HERE.

Here is an English translation of the May 1901 article in Japan's "Journal of Geography":
"An Island in the Sea of Japan (Yanko)"
In mid April several Tokyo newspapers reported that an island had been discovered in the Sea of Japan. According to the reports, an island yet unknown to the world was discovered in the sea 30 ri to the southeast of Korea’s Ulleungdo and about the same distance to the northeast of Japan’s Oki County. They said the island had not yet been recorded on Japan’s sea charts nor on British sea charts, but that the island did, in fact, exist. It said Japanese on Ulleungdo could, in fact, see the distant form of the island to the southeast from a mountain top on clear days.
According to the history of its discovery, one or two years ago a fishing boat with diving apparatus from the Kyushu area discovered the existence of the island in an unfamiliar area in the distance sea while hunting for fish. The fishermen happily used the island as a base to explore the surrounding waters. They found that the area was inhabited by a great many fish, but a colony of hundreds of sea lions obstructed the fishing boat. Finally, unable to do their job, it is said the fishermen returned.
A diver on the fishing boat who actually saw the island reported that it was about 30 cho in length; its hills were not very high. Here and there were weeds and bushes. The shape of the island was quite irregular, so it was a good place for ships to harbor and avoid the wind and waves. However, even if you dig a few feet below the surface, there is no water, so it cannot be described as a viable place for processing sea products. However, it is still sufficiently worthwhile for researchers and industrialists to explore. Japanese and Korean fishermen call it "Yanko."
According to the above article, the location is not precise, but I think this island corresponds to Liancourt Rocks, considering the article and the island's name, though it is yet to be plotted. Since this might not be the case, a precise judgment cannot be made without first receiving a detailed report. For reference, here is an excerpt from an article on Liancourt Rocks from Page 263 of the Second Edition of the “Joseon Waterways Directory” (朝鮮水路誌, 1899).
Liancourt Rocks
Liancourt Rocks are named after the French ship Liancourt, which discovered them in 1849; they were also called Menalai and Olivutsa rocks by the Russian frigate Pallas in 1854, and Hornet islands by H.M.S. Hornet in 1855. Captain Forsyth, of the latter vessel, gives their position as lat. 37°14′N. long. 131°55′E., and describes them as being two barren rocky islets, covered with guano, which makes them appear white; they are about a mile in extent N.W. by W. and S.E. by E., a quarter of a mile apart, and apparently joined together by a reef. The western islet, elevated about 410 feet above the sea, has a sugar-loaf form; the easternmost is much lower and flat-topped. The water appeared deep close-to, but they are dangerous from their position, being directly in the track of vessels steering up the Sea of Japan for Hakodate.

Here is the Japanese
"日本海中の一島嶼 (ヤンコ)" 
去る四月中旬 東京發行の各新聞紙は日本海中に一島嶼を發見せることを報せり、
韓國欝陵島を東南に去ること三十里 我日本國隱岐を西北に距ること殆んと同里數の海上に 未た世人に知られさる一島嶼を發見せり、該島は 未た本邦の海圖には載らす イキリスの海圖にも亦之を記せされとも 其島の存在は確實にして、現に欝陵島にありし日本人は晴天の日 山の高所より東南を望みたるに 遙に島影を認めたりといへり、今此の島發見の歴史を聞くに 一兩年前 九州邊の一潜水器船が 魚族を追ふて遠く海中に出てたるに、見慣れさる所に一島嶼の存在せることを發見し 喜んで之を根據地と定め 其四隣の海中を漁り回りたるに、此の邊魚族の棲息せるもの頗る多かりしも 海馬數百群を爲して潜水器船を沮みたれば 終に目的を終へすして引還したりといふ、此の船中にありし潜水業者の實見したる所なりとて報する所によれは 其島は長さ三十町に近く 丘陵甚た高からされとも 處々に蓁莾蕪穢、島形又極めて屈曲に富み 漁船を泊し風浪を避くるに最も便あり、只地上より數尺の間は之を鑚るも水を得ず 從て現今の所にては水産物製造場としての價値は乏しといふべし、故に學者實業家は猶充分なる探検を施すの餘地を留む、日韓漁民之を指してヤンコと呼へりといふ 
以上の記事に據るに其位置固より確實ならず、想ふに此の島は未だ海圖に示されすといふも 其記事及び稱呼より之を察せば 恰もLiancourt rocksリアンコートロツクに符合せり、或は之を指すに非ずやと疑はるヽも 尚其精確なる斷定は精細なる報告を得たる後に非れは下す能はず、
且らく參照の爲めに 左に朝鮮水路誌第二版(明治三十二年水路部刊行)二六三頁よりリアンコート島に關する記事を抄録せん

此列岩は洋紀一八四九年佛國船「Liancourt」初て發見し稱呼を其船名に取る 其後一八五四年露國「フレガツト」形艦「Pall as」は此列岩を「Menalai」及「Olivutsa」列岩と名つけ 一八五五年英艦「Hornet」は此の列岩を探検して「ホル子ツト」列島と名つけり 該艦長「Forsyth」の言に據れば 此列岩は北緯三七度一四分東經一三一度五五分の處に位する二座の不毛嶼にして 鳥糞常に嶼上に堆積し嶼色爲めに白し 而して北西彳西至南東彳東の長さ約一里 二嶼の間距離約二鏈半にして 見たる所一礁脉ありて之を連結す●西嶼は海面上高さ約四一〇呎にして其形棒糖の如し 東嶼は較低くして平頂なり●此列岩附近は水頗深きか如しと雖 其位置は實に凾館に向て日本海を航行する船舶の直道に當れるを以て頗危險なりとす

Copy of the Journal Article


"Yanko" island "never incorporated into Korean territory," Black Dragon Society Bulletin, 10 March 1901

On 10 March 1901, the Black Dragon Society of Japan, also called the Amur River Society, published a collection of articles that included one that announced the discovery of a new, unnamed island midway between the Korean island of Ulleungdo and Japan's Oki County. Not only did the article claim the island did not appear on British, Russian and Japanese sea charts, but the article also claimed the island "has never been incorporated into Joseon territory" (又朝鮮の版圖にも編せられず).

The discovery of a new island in the Sea of Japan in 1901 was big news not only in Japan, but also in Canada and the United States, where several newspapers reported the discovery. It was hard for people to believe that an island in the Sea of Japan could have gone undiscovered for so long.

The article in the March 10 publication also claimed that both Japanese and Korean fisherman referred to the newly discovered island as "Yanko," which the article claimed was discovered by a Japanese fisherman a couple of years earlier.

The island described in the article was almost certainly Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima / Dokdo), which had been discovered centuries earlier by Japanese fishermen and did appear on British, Russian, and Japanese sea charts at the time, so the article was wrong to claim the island was newly discovered.
The editor and publisher of the Black Dragon Society publication was a man named Kuzuu Shuusuke (葛生修亮), who, according to another article in the same publication, had spent a few years in Korea researching its geography, so he probably got his information on the mysterious island of "Yanko" in Korea, where he was enrolled in the Association of Korean Fishery. The fact that he knew that both Japanese and Korean fishermen referred to the newly discovered island as "Yanko" suggests that he had either traveled to Ulleungdo during his trip to Korea or interviewed someone who had been to Ulleungdo, where both Japanese and Korean fishermen probably knew of the island. Also, it is very likely someone in Korea told him that "Yanko" was not part of Korean territory, someone who knew of the island.
The following is Kaneganese's English translation of the 10 March 1901 Japanese article:
"A Newly Discovered Island in the Sea of Japan"

About 30 ri southeast of Joseon’s Ulleungdo, and about the same distance northwest of Japan’s Oki County, there is an unnamed island unknown to the world. The island has never been shown on British sea charts, nor on sea charts of Japan or Russia. It has also never been incorporated into Joseon territory, but the island does, in fact, exist. Those who have returned from Ulleungdo have said that one can see it in the distance to the southeast from the highest peak of Ulleungdo when the weather is good. 
According to the history of this island’s discovery, one or two years ago, when a western Japan fishing boat with diving apparatus was searching for fish far out to sea in an unfamiliar area, the crew unexpectedly saw the island. They happily established a base there and explored the surrounding waters. There were many fish, but, unfortunately, many of them could not be caught because of a colony of several hundred sea lions. They were forced to return frustrated. 
After this incident some fishing experts investigated and reported that the fishing boat with the diving apparatus probably went to the island in about May or June, which is the breeding season for sea lions. They said that was probably why they were obstructed. 
According to the diving contractor, who himself saw the island, it has a slope of close to 30 cho, and the hills are not very high. Here and there are weeds and bushes. The shape of the island is quite irregular, so it is a good place for ships to harbor and avoid the wind and waves. However, even if you dig a few feet below the surface, there is no water, so it cannot be described as a good place for processing sea products.
However,  it is still sufficiently worthwhile for navigators and fishermen to explore. By the way, Japanese and Korean fishermen call this island "Yanko."
Here is the Japanese:
朝鮮の欝陵島を東南に去ることを三十里、我帝國の隠岐國を西北に距ること又殆んど同里数の海中に於て世人未知の無名島あり 此島未だ英國の海圖にも載せられず 日本露西亜の海圖にも記されず 又朝鮮の版圖にも編せられず 然れども其島の存在することは事実にして、現に欝陵島より帰りたるものは晴天の日同島山峯の高處に於て東南の方に遥かに島あるを認むと云へり  
今此島發見の歴史を聞くに 一二年前西國筋の一潜水器船魚類を尋ねて遠く海中に出でたる時 見馴れざる場所に不圖一島嶼あるを認め 悦んで此處に根拠を据へ其四隣の海中を漁り廻りたるに 魚類の生息することは非常なれども 不幸にして數百頭の海馬の群れに悩まされ 何分にも饒多なる魚類の捕獲を全ふせず、ホウボウの体にて逃げ帰らざるべからざることとなりぬ、 
其後此事を以て或水産家に糺したるに 潜水器船の同島に到りたるは季節恰も五六月の交なりし故 海馬の産期に当るを以て其妨害を受けたるものなるべしと云ふ  
同潜水業者が實見せる所にては 同島は流れ三十町に近く丘陵甚だ高からざれ共處々雑草雑木を生じ 島形又極めて屈曲多く漁船を泊し風浪を避くるには頗る好地位に在り 但し地上數尺の間は之を穿て其水を得ざるを以て 現今の處水産物製造場としては未だ好都合なりと云ふを得ずとのことなり 去れど 
航海家水産業者の為めには尚ほ充分探険の価値あるべし 因みに曰く 日韓漁民は此島を呼んで「ヤンコ」と云へり
10 March 1901 Article from the Black Dragon Society publication

Publishing information page from the 10 March 1901 Black Dragon Society publication

13 April 1901 Article from "The Tokyo Daily Newspaper." This article is very similar to that in the Black Dragon Society publication, but it omits the reference to Russian sea charts and the sentence that says the island is not part of Joseon territory. This was probably done to fit the article within the limited space on the pages of the newspaper.

14 April 1901 Article from "The Japan Times"

18 April 1901 Article from the "San-in Shimbun"

31 May 1901 Article from "The Long Island Farmer," Jamaica, New York

22 June 1901 Article from the "Straits Times," Singapore

30 July 1901 Article from "The Pacific Commercial Advertiser," Honolulu