[KS] Tokto

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Wed Oct 10 16:38:35 EDT 2012

Thanks to Yoo Kwang-On, we get frequent updates on the Tokto  
situation. Seoul keeps hitting the issue, and in P'yongyang they've  
also been pushing in their own famous style. A week or so ago the NY  
Times (finally!) had a piece on the island squabble, but it wasn't  
anywhere near as good as the one the Washington Post put out a day or  
two ago.

Now wouldn't it be great for morale on both sides of the DMZ and/or  
the East China Sea and for all us in the Korean and China fields if  
they joined in giving a unified, world-wide plea on the issue? The  
basic facts are held in common.

Today, the Republic of China (Taiwan) bought a full page add in the  
New York Times on the Diaoyu problem, laying out a well produced and  
documented statement with an excellent, convincing mix of historical  
and legal facts. On Sept. 28, the PRC had bought a TWO-page add in the  
Times with pretty much the same facts but without the sophistication  
and clarity of the Taiwan presentation, which did not mention that  
both Taiwan and the PRC claimed the island. It's great, because  
whatever happens in the future between the two Chinese republics, the  
Daiyu islands will end up in China.

Now, if the ROK and the DPRK could put together on Tokto a cogent  
statement with the presentational excellence of the Taiwan display,  
and  buy a Times page or two, wouldn't that wake up a lot of folks in  
the Korean peninsula and around the world! The fact is, the USA was  
involved in both the Diaoyutai and Tokto issues after the Pacific War  
and are not without some responsibility for the tragic mis-allocation  
of these islands. Americans in general should be made more aware of  
the facts. And yet, the US government keeps hiding behind a so-called  
neutral stance.

Gari Ledyard

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