[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

Marko Rajakko marko.rajakko at gmail.com
Sun Jul 20 14:09:45 EDT 2008

Dear list members,

As for my previous message, my decision to use "non-issue" may have been
misguided or slightly misunderstood. I was only trying to relay my own
personal opinion about this whole matter. After all, English is only my
third language. My apologies if I unintentionally offended anyone. Having
said all that, Dokdo-Takeshima question is a very important issue to some
people and to the South Korean government. I must say that personally I do
not see anything wrong with the suggested name change. Liancourt Rocks is
neutral term and I suppose, rather widely used name for the islets. Besides,
we have to remember that no matter what we call it, in Korean maps it will
still be Dokdo and in Japanese maps Takeshima.

What I find interesting is that the Korean side seems to be a lot more
vociferous than the Japanese side. Why is that? Should not it be the other
way? Korea has held the islets since 1953, has people living there, has
stationed a group of police officers on the islets, and if I am not
mistaken, provides cell phone and Internet services for visitors etc. After
all this and it still seems to me that Korea is quite insecure of its

The latest news tell us that Korea will replace the police officers
stationed on the islets with marines. ROK will also send two civil servants
there as well. All this because Japan claims? I do not think that ROK has
any reason to risk escalating this dispute any further. Dokdo is and has
been in Korean hands, by might and/or by right, for the last 55 years. I do
not see that Japan will try to contest this issue with legal or military
action anytime soon.

Mr. Burgeson wrote:

[...] South Koreans should make sure that their historians have made an
> air-tight case for their claim to Dokto, because from what I have read so
> far, they really haven't.

I am with Mr. Burgeson in this matter. I do not claim to be an expert on
this issue, but from what I see the Japanese claim has more merit than the
Korean one. Furthermore, emotional demonstrations, burning of Japanese
flags, acts of violence against animals and self-mutilation (cutting off
fingers, self-immolation, trying to commit harakiri) do not solve anything.
These acts only give Korea and Koreans a bad name abroad.

As for how to solve this problem, I do have one idea. (Well, actually two,
if Korea and Japan could agree to divide the islets between themselves.) I
hope that both parties would agree to take this issue into the International
Court or UN before something irrevocable happens. Naturally both governments
would have to follow the court's ruling. Maybe a joint custody could come
into question like in some divorce cases? At least it might bring these two
neighbors closer and help to heal some other issues of the past. Is this too
wishful thinking?

Marko Rajakko, Finland
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