[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

J.Scott Burgeson jsburgeson at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 17 23:09:12 EDT 2008

Is there such a thing as political spam, or more to the point nationalisitic spam? Of course there is -- even in the KS List, apparently!

It is my understanding that the official position of the US government is to remain neutral in the Dokto-Takeshima territorial dispute, since its legal status remains contested from an international law standpoint. (And we must note that the ROK has refused to resolve the matter in the International Court of Justice for the last 5 decades.)

Thus, choosing the neutral name “Liancourt Rocks" by, for example, the the U.S. Library of Congress, would seem to be a responsible reflection of this more general position held by the US government.

Is it not more than a little ironic, then, that while on the one hand most South Koreans complain about Japanese interference with ROK national sovereignty over the Dokto-Takeshima matter, Hana Kim has essentially interfered with US national sovereignty by inserting herself so directly into official US government policy?

I for one am rather offended by such a hypocritical double standard.

--Scott Bug

--- On Thu, 7/17/08, Hana Kim <hn.kim at utoronto.ca> wrote:

> From: Hana Kim <hn.kim at utoronto.ca>
> Subject: [KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy
> To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
> Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008, 6:13 PM
> Dear Koreanists:
> As you may have heard, the Tok Island issue has recently
> spread its 
> controversy all the way to the United States Library of
> Congress and all 
> of our North American university libraries.
> As the Chair of the Committee on Korean Materials under the
> auspices of 
> the Council on East Asian Libraries of the Association for
> Asian 
> Studies, I head an organization of Korean Studies
> librarians in North 
> America.
> Recently, we were shocked to learn that the U.S. Library of
> Congress had 
> arbitrarily planned to officially change the existing
> subject heading of 
> “Tok Island (Korea)” to the new heading of “Liancourt
> Rocks.”  
> Furthermore, within this new subject heading the existing
> broader 
> explanation of “Islands Korea (South)” would be changed
> to “Islands of 
> the Sea of Japan.”  A closed Library of Congress meeting
> to ratify this 
> decision was planned for July 16. 
> Since this plan was not widely known, our organization took
> it upon 
> ourselves to voice a strong protest to this sudden change,
> and also made 
> the relevant South Korean governmental bodies aware of this
> situation.  
> Thanks to the efforts of many parties, I am pleased to
> report that the 
> Library of Congress has now officially postponed any
> decision on this 
> matter until there is further international resolution of
> this issue.
> As Koreanists, I felt that you should be made aware of this
> matter, and 
> I hope that you will actively make your own views on this
> matter known 
> to the relevant parties.  In addition, I feel that this
> matter also 
> requires the further study and deliberation of experts such
> as 
> yourselves.  I hope that we may see much scholarly activity
> to elucidate 
> this delicate issue.
> Should you require any more detailed information, I would
> be happy to 
> share it with you.
> Sincerely,
> Hana Kim
> Chair, Committee on Korean Materials
> -- 
> ***************************************************************
>      Hana Kim, Korea Studies Librarian
>      Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library
>      University of Toronto Libraries
>      130 St. George Street, 8th Floor, Room 8049
>      Toronto, Ontario
>      Canada M5S 1A5
>      Tel.  (416)  978 1570 (7th Fl.) / 978  3805 (8th Fl.)
>      Fax.  (416)  978  0863
>      Email: hn.kim at utoronto.ca
>      Web: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/east/
> ***************************************************************


More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list