Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dokdo and Cyber Diplomacy II: 독도는한국 땅이라 !

독도는한국 땅이라 !

As you can see, I prefer to state my conclusion at the outset of this post.  "Dokdo is Korean land."   I base this conclusion on several things.

  • My wife (who is Korean) and I have visited Ulleungdo on three separate occasions for a delightful summer vacation.  Ulleungdo is the jump-off point for most Dokdo tours in the East Sea, and no one in their right mind would question whether Ulleungdo is Korean land.  If you like fresh air, fresh squid and freshly caught squid drying in the air, Ulleungdo is the place to go.
  • Most of the efforts to dig up historical claims to Dokdo favor Korea.  Much of the evidence produced in favor of Japan's claim involves the period from 1905 until the end of World War II--hardly a period of which Japan can be proud.  Check for yourself!  Comments on this post are welcome.  I think that serious historians, from all over the world, tend to favor Korea.
  • Korea now has a human and military presence on Dokdo.  Given the Japanese claims to this set of islets, this seems the only prudent thing to do. 
  • Although not an historian, I do know that during the long occupation of Korea during the first half of the twentieth century, Japanese authorities forced Koreans to assume Japanese names.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise when Japan takes a piece of Korean land and attempts to claim it for Japan and give it a Japanese name.
  • Finally, and most relevant to the subject matter of this blog, I find it interesting that the argument about national sovereignty in Dokdo is taking place not only in traditional media, but in cyberspace.  Since South Korea leads Japan in key measures of development of an information society, it is entirely appropriate that the nation press its inherent advantage in cyber-diplomacy to clearly plant Korea's flag on Dokdo.

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