[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

Eugene Y. Park eugene.y.park at uci.edu
Tue Jul 22 11:58:23 EDT 2008

Dear Scott,

I appreciate the spirit of your suggestions, but some of the "incidental
rhetorical terms" that have been used--"lobbying" and "neutral," for
example--seem pretty loaded to me. And didn't this whole discussion get
started on the questions about "nationalistic spamming" over "non-issues"
and "lobbying?" Again I do not know Hana Kim, but to suggest, for example,
that the hapless librarian was lobbying for a foreign government seems
like a serious charge to me. What do you think?

Of course, there's the islet question itself, on which I think we've
already had plenty of discussions here in the past, if I'm not mistaken. 
In this light, each of the two statements that you make (below) seem to
oversimplify the frustratingly complex situation.


On Mon, July 21, 2008 20:52, J.Scott Burgeson wrote:
> I appreciate Gene's thoughtful comments to the List and hope that further
> discussion on Dokdo-Takeshima can shift away from focusing on incidental
> rhetorical terms that are merely a distraction in my opinion. I find the
> sheer mass of maps and different names for the islands under discussion to
> be quite overwhelming and have just two simple -- and perhaps rather naive
> -- questions for distinguished scholars of the List:
> 1. It is frequently claimed that Japan "stole" the Dokto-Takeshima islets
> in 1905, but from my understanding they were unoccupied at the time and
> thus Japan invoked the principle of "terra nullius" in justifying its
> claim to them. Is it too much of stretch, then, to claim that their
> occupation was quite separate from Japan's subsequent colonization of
> Korea?
> 2. The islets were not covered in the Treaty of San Francisco, so from a
> strictly legal standpoint wouldn't the islands legally still belong to
> Japan if sovereignty over them was not legally and formally handed back to
> the ROK in 1952? Historical arguments aside, is not this lack of legal
> clarity sufficient proof for the existence of a "dispute" which many on
> the Korean side claim does not exist?
> --Scott Bug

Eugene Y. Park
Associate Professor
Department of History
Krieger Hall 200
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697
Tel. (949) 824-5275
Fax. (949) 824-2865

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list