[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

Kent Allen Davy kentdavy at gmail.com
Sun Jul 27 10:52:54 EDT 2008

In response to David McCann's comment:  The UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea ("UNCLOS") provides in pertinent part as follows:



Regime of islands

*1. An island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which
is above water at high tide.*

*2. Except as provided for in paragraph 3, the territorial sea, the
contiguous zone, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of an
island are determined in accordance with the provisions of this Convention
applicable to other land territory.*

*3. Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their
own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.*

It should be clear from Article 121(3) that the Damned Rocks cannot provide
the basis for an assertion by a state claiming territorial sovereignty over
them with of the [rather expansive (200 mile)] Exclusive Economic Zone [the
name of which alone for current purposes should suffice to indicate what is
at stake] provided for in Articles 55 et seq. of Part V of UNCLOS, nor for a
state's assertion of the [similarly expansive] rights in a related
continental shelf in accordance with Articles 76 et seq. of Part VI.

The significance of the dispute over the Damned Rocks between Korean and
Japan, at least in current economic terms, thus comes down to the rights
that accrue to them under UNCLOS if they are considered to constitute
territory of one or the other state.  That is spelled out in Articles 2, 3
et seq. of Sections 1 and 2 of Part II as follows:



* *

* ** *


Legal status of the territorial sea, of the air space

over the territorial sea and of its bed and subsoil

*1. The sovereignty of a coastal State extends, beyond its land territory
and internal waters and, in the case of an archipelagic State, its
archipelagic waters, to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the
territorial sea.*

*2. This sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as
well as to its bed and subsoil.*

*3. The sovereignty over the territorial sea is exercised subject to this
Convention and to other rules of international law.*
** *

* ** *


Breadth of the territorial sea

*Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea
up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines
determined in accordance with this Convention.*
So, in other words, what is at stake here in current material terms is
whether Korea or Japan gets to control the area of sea extending 12 miles
out in all directions from the Damned Rocks.

On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 6:13 PM, <dmccann at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:

> Did anyone else happen to see the article in a newspaper recently about the
> difference between a rock and an island?  It seemed to be sort of a
> technical
> distinction, but with some significant ramifications.  As I remember, a
> rock is
> not inhabitable, while an island is.  With an "island" go territorial
> claims, as
> for example to fishing or other resources, but with a "rock," no such
> claims can
> be made.
> David McCann
> Quoting Young-Key Kim-Renaud <kimrenau at gwu.edu>:
> > Ok, ok, I stand corrected: I should have said the "the predominant Korean
> > position" and not "the Korean position." I was not too far off, though,
> if I
> > was not careful enough in choosing my words. To say what I really meant,
> I
> > could only quote Brother Anthony's earlier posting on this:
> > "... Let us not forget that this issue is less about 'nationalism' than
> it is
> > about fishing rights and sea-bed mineral rights, and also about
>  pan-Korean
> > unity in the face of what is perceived as ongoing Japanese expansionism.
> For
> > once Seoul and Pyongyang are speaking the same language.  It is surely
> also
> > about a sense of frustration at the way the Japanese positions (cf the
> 'East
> > Sea' issue)  find so easily such a sympathetic audience worldwide, while
> > Korea (as someone has noted) resorts to strident screaming in protest
> because
> > no one seems to be listening.
> >
> > So far as I know, the present blow-up was produced by the publication of
> > Japanese school-textbook guidelines, which can only be seen as a form of
> > provocation, and Koreans are wondering 'Why now?' That seems a good
> > question."
> > To respond to your sweeping and accusatory generalization about
> "distorted
> > scholarship" and certain research methods [by some Koreans, I supposed
> you
> > meant] in Korean studies, with not one single reference, is a waste of
> time
> > in my opinion. So, I won't. It is a good thing that you meant no offense
> to
> > anyone. Just one plea--please, let us not essentialize things and groups
> of
> > people. Those days are long gone--at least, I hope so!
> > YK
> > Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Chair
> > Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
> > Professor of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs
> > The George Washington University
> > 801 22nd Street, N.W. (Academic Center, Rome Hall 469)
> > Washington, DC 20052
> > E-mail: kimrenau at gwu.edu
> > http://home.gwu.edu/~kimrenau <http://home.gwu.edu/%7Ekimrenau>,
> > http://myprofile.cos.com/kimreny76
> > Tel: (O) 202-994-7107
> > Fax: (O) 202-994-1512
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Steven Capener <sotaebu at yahoo.com>
> > Date: Saturday, July 26, 2008 5:24 am
> > Subject: Re: [KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy
> > To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
> >
> > Dear all,
> > Let me start by saying no personal offense is intended to anyone.
> However, am
> > I the only one that finds this recent statement problematic?
> > "Your message only supports and reinforces my suspicion and puzzle how
> > unsympathetic the international opinion may be to Korea. That some of
> similar
> > voices should come from those who are in Korean studies and should at
> least
> > try to understand the Korean position puzzles me, though."
> > There are many reasons why 'international opinion' is often unsympathetic
> to
> > Korea but that would take this discussion in another (probably
> unproductive)
> > direction entirely. The second part of the assertion, however, is very
> > relevant to this discussion and is a position I've encountered many times
> in
> > Korean studies. This is the idea that in academic inquiry there is a
> 'Korean
> > position,' not a conclusion naturally arrived at as the result of
> objective
> > research. It is in effect starting with the conclusion one wants and
> > researching backwads selectively to demonstrate that conclusion. This
> > approach is most obvious in research done in Korea on the colonial period
> > (particularly in history and literature). The other problem with this
> > statement is the implication of a requirement of loyalty or sympathy to a
> > position because it is Korean.
> > It seems to me this approach to area studies would be a problem wherever
> it
> > may be applied.
> > Respectfully yours,
> > Steven D. Capener
> >
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