Liancourt Rocks

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Dokdo (Dokdo 독도 in Korean) are a group of small islands in the East Sea.[1][2] The islands are currently occupied under the South Korean armed police. The name Liancourt Rocks comes from the French whaling ship Liancourt. The people on the Liancourt made a map of the islands in 1849. The islands have been in dispute for some time by both Korea and Japan. Japan has been suggesting to sort the dispute in International Court of Justice but South Korean government keeps refusing it.

Geography[change | change source]

Liancourt Rocks
Disputed islands
Other names: Dokdo
Location of the Dokdo in the East Sea
Location {{{location}}}
Coordinates 37°14′30″N 131°52′0″E / 37.24167°N 131.86667°E / 37.24167; 131.86667
Total islands 90 (37 permanent land)
Major islands East Islet, West Islet
Area 0.18745km2
Administered by
 South Korea
County Ulleung County, North Gyeongsang
Claimed by
Town Ulleung County, North Gyeongsang
 South Korea
County Ulleung County, North Gyeongsang

Liancourt Rocks consists of two islets, that are 150 metres apart.[3] These small islands are called West Islet and East Islet. The western islet is the larger of the two islets. Altogether, there are about 90 islets and reefs.[4] The islands and rocks have a volcanic nature.[5] A total of 37 of these islets are recognized as permanent land.[4] The eastern islet formed 4.5 million years ago. Ulleungdo formed 2 million years later. Both are quickly eroding and weathering.[6]

The total area of the islets is about 187,450 square meters. Their highest point is 169 meters on the western islet. The western islet is about 88,640 square meters in area; the eastern islet about 73,300 square meters.[4] Liancourt Rocks is at about 131°52′ East longitude and about 37°14′ North latitude.[4] The western islet is at 37°14′31″N 131°51′55″E / 37.24194°N 131.86528°E / 37.24194; 131.86528 and the eastern islet is at 37°14′27″N 131°52′10″E / 37.24083°N 131.86944°E / 37.24083; 131.86944. The main islands coast lines are 217 km apart from mainland Korea and 212 km apart from main island's of Japan (Honshu).[7] The nearest Korean territory (Ulleung-do) is 87 km away and can be visible on fair days;[3][8] the nearest Japanese territory (Oki islands) is 157 km away.[4]

The western islet is made of a single peak. It has many caves along the coastline. The cliffs of the eastern islet are about 10 to 20 meters high. There are two caves giving access to the sea, as well as a crater.[5]

Economy[change | change source]

40 Korean people are staying on the islets,[source?] several Korean telecom service providers (namely SK Telecom, KT, and LG U+) have also installed stations on Liancourt Rocks to cover the islets in the South Korean wireless telephone network.[source?] There is also regular ferry service from Ulleung-do.[9]

Although the islets themselves are barely habitable, the Exclusive Economic Zone surrounding them has rich fishing grounds and possible reserves of natural gas.[10] As of 2006, the expected reserves have not been found.[4] A wide variety of fish as well as seaweed, kelp, sea slugs, and clams live around the islets.[5] Major fishery catches in the area are squid, Alaskan pollock, codfish, and octopus.[4][5] There are 102 species of seaweed, although many of these have no economic value.[4]

This area used to be one of the largest breeding grounds of sea lions (Zalophus californianus japonicus) and a good spot for hunting them and also a spot for obtaining abalone at the end of the Meiji period (1868-1912).[11] Until the 1950s, sea lions were observed on the islets by the voluntary guards.[12]

Over 900 Korean citizens say that they live on the islands. Over 2,000 Japanese do the same. However, only two people, a married Korean couple, are living there permanently.[13]

Tourism[change | change source]

Because they are classified as a nature reserve, special permits are required for tourists to land on the islets rather than just circling them.[14] There were 1,507 and 1,597 recorded tourists in 2003 and 2004 respectively.[14] Visitors generally come by boat from Ulleung-do.[4][14]

In 2005, the first wedding ceremony was held on the islets. The South Korean couple chose the location to protest against Japanese territorial claims.[15]

Climate[change | change source]

Liancourt Rocks can have harsh weather conditions. This is because of its location, and small size. Sometimes, ships are unable to dock because of strong northwestern winds in winter.[3][5] The climate is warm and humid. It is heavily influenced by warm sea currents. There is a lot of rain throughout the year (annual average - 1324 mm), with occasional snowfall.[5] Fog is a common sight. In the summer, southerly winds dominate.[5] The water around the islets is about 10 degrees Celsius in spring, when the water is coolest. It warms to about 25 degrees Celsius in August.[5]

Ecology[change | change source]

Like Ulleung-do, the islets are volcanic rocks, with only a thin layer of soil and moss.[4] About 80 species of plants, over 22 species of birds, and 37 species of insects have been recorded on the islets, in addition to the local maritime life.[3]

Since the early 1970s, trees and some types of flowers were planted along with the indigenous flora and fauna.[3] (Trees are required under international law for the islets to be recognized as natural islands rather than reefs.[5][14])

Liancourt Rocks was declared "Natural Monument #336" by South Korea in the 1990s. Some birds actually live on the islands, but most are just using them as a stopover to fly elsewhere. The fork-tailed petrel, streaked shearwater, and black-tailed gulls live on the islands. The population of breeding birds counted on the rocks, however, has been declining in recent years.[5]

In 1999, the islets were designated a special environmental protected area by the South Korean government.[3] They are older than any other Korean volcanic islands, including Ulleung-do.[5]

It was announced in 2005 that three new genera and five new species of bacteria had been identified by ROK scientists in the waters off the islets. The genera are Dokdonella koreensis, Dokdonia donghaenensis, and Donghae dokdoensis. The newly identified species are Virgilbacillus dokdoensis, Maribacter dokdoensis, Marimonas dokdoensis, Polaribacter dokdoensis, and Porphyrobacter dokdoensis.

Strategic location[change | change source]

The islets are of importance not only for economic reasons,[source?] but also for military ones[source?]. They have occasionally served as a military base, most notably during the Russo-Japanese War. The South Korean government has built a radar station and helicopter landing pad on the islets, enabling it to track foreign naval forces[source?].

Additional note of the dispute[change | change source]

South Korean armed force captured 3929 and killed 44 Japanese people between 1952 and 1965 until Syngman Rhee Line was set. The dispute between South Korea and Japan over the islands has gained heat in 2008 with new Japanese school books mentioning the islands, and a visit by the South Korean Prime Minister in July. Ten years ago, no people lived on the islands. But South Korea started to populate the island to make its claim stronger. South Korea insists that the islet was called Usan-do or Sokdo in a past and later changed its name, but there is no historical proof which shows when the name was changed.

Rusk documents in 1951 states that "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."

History[change | change source]

512: In the 13th year of King Jijeung of Silla, Isabu, conquered the umbrella country and incorporated it into Silla territory (Records of the Three Kingdoms)

An Yong-bok, fisherman : and 1693 shogunate mourning, Japan forcibly removed and to find why in the ocean near Ulleungdo to Dokdo and Ulleung Island is Korean territory Seogye for getting (the Annals of the reign.History).

Banpo Uldo Ulleung Island to King Gojong, an Imperial decree No. 41 : 1900, logistics and the guide and as the Dokdo uldogun to will result in a jurisdiction

Takeshima in 1905 : Japan, Dokdo, (Takeshima) by Shimane and as the number 40, and that Japan will result in (Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 in November 1905, to losing sovereignty,).

In 1907 : jurisdiction of Ulleungdo and Dokdo, Gangwon Province to Gyeongsang Province in two speed.

In 1946 : gho scapin in (Allied Supreme Command) (supreme head-quarters allied command) subparagraph at 677 in accordance with the Japan excluded from control over the Dokdo.

Dokdo : 1953 and a volunteer (Colon 32 agents, hongsunchil) garrison organizations.

And 1956 : National Police, Dokdo over expenses.

Dokdo : in 1981, first resident registration card (Choi Jong-Duk Dodong-ri, Ulleung-eup, bought 67).

State-designated cultural property : 1982, and was designated as Natural Monument No. 336 (Dokdo marine algae a breeding ground).

1998: Signing a fisheries agreement between Shinhan and Japan

State-designated cultural property : in 1999 and management organizations and Natural Monument No. 336, Dokdo a name change management guidelines, the Cultural Heritage (→ Dokdo a Dokdo algae reproduce natural resource conservation area).

Dodong-ri bought 42 : a lot number to 76 / Administrative divisions : name and number (Dodong-ri → the Eastern Island and Dokdo, (the opening. - Class 1 - 2 class : Regions), 2000 → Dokdo, a mountain, at 37 to 1.

Dokdo, and the Ministry of Information and Communication : In 2003, postal number ‘799 - 805’.

2005: Undesignation of 11 public areas (Dongdo) including the trail (Admission Permit System → Switch to the reporting system), and Zip Bungyeong (1-37 Mountains → 1-96 Streets)

And 2008 : Addressing the new street address 'Dokdo to Kim Isabu' and 'Dokdo An Yong-bok gil' according to changes in.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. "S Korea bid to solve sea dispute". BBC News. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2008-02-17. South Korea calls it the East Sea
  2. "Report on the Progress in Consultations on the Naming of the Sea Area between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese Archipelago". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (South Korea). 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2008-02-17. the sea area has been consistently called "East Sea" in Korea
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 (1999–2006). Dokdo: A Profile Archived 2008-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Gyongsangbuk-do (2001). Cyber Dokdo. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Truth of Dokdo. Story of Dokdo Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  6. "독도, 일본보다 빠른 속도로 침몰하고 있다" Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Korea Times, 2006/12/01. 손영관교수 `독도ㆍ울릉도 `침몰하고 있다`` Archived 2012-07-07 at, (중앙 일보)JoongAng Ilbo, 2006/12/01.
  7. "Measure Distance on a Map".
  8. DKB News. UL1.jpg Archived 2005-04-15 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  9. See Cyber Dokdo.
  10. Truth of Dokdo. Importance of Dokdo Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  11. Historically,Takeshima belongs to Japan Archived 2014-05-05 at the Wayback Machine, Shimane Prefectural Government, Japan
  12. (ko) "50년대 독도의용수비대가 활약할 당시만 해도 20∼30마리씩 떼를 지어 독도 연안에서 서식하는장면이 목격됐다. 독도의용수비대원이던 이규현씨(82·울릉군 울릉읍 도동리)는 "당시 독도에서 강치(바다사자) 무리를 간간이 볼 수 있었고, 울릉도 주민들은 이를 가재, 강치로 부르기도 했다"고 말했다." 독도에 바다사자 복원한다 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, The Kukmin Daily, 2006.02.02
  13. See Hankooki[permanent dead link].
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 (1999–2006). Dokdo: Inhabitants and Visitors Archived 2008-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 9 January, 2006.
  15. Tour 2 Korea Dokdo Tour Archived 2007-06-16 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 18 January, 2006.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Official sites[change | change source]

Pro-Korea[change | change source]