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“Dokdo Doesn’t Shake”

Posted March. 16, 2005 22:26,   


Despite high waves and strong sea winds, Dokdo looked as dauntlessness as ever on March 16 as Japan’s Shimane Prefecture designated “Takeshima (Japanese name for Dokdo) Day.”

The black-tailed gulls covering the island loudly cried on their nest, whether or not knowing the public’s indignation and dispute over Dokdo.

Lee Jae-hyeon (25, 19th term-graduate from the Korea National Police University), a chief Dokdo guard, showed his strong will, saying, “I’ll defend Dokdo even stronger to live up to the public’s expectations as Dokdo is currently under controversy.”

A marine police, Jeong Hong-gwon (24), who stayed in a control room, firmly said that no matter how strong the winds blow from Japan, the Dokdo guards don’t shake at all. About ten thousand residents of Ulleungdo are more infuriated than anyone else at the establishment of “Takeshima Day.”

On the day, 150 staff members of the Ulleung County Office held a protest meeting and marched from the county office to Dodong Port.

Several groups of residents also raised their voices shouting that the New Korea-Japan Pact on Fishing in 1999 should be abolished at this time.

Residents of Ulleungdo who commemorate October 25 as the “Ulleung-gun Residents’ Day” every year, decided to take the lead in protecting Dokdo after declaring October 25 as “Ulleung and Dokdo Island Day,” beginning this year.

Meanwhile, Gyeongbuk Province announced its break of relations with Shimane Prefecture, with which it established sisterhood relationships in 1989.

It added that it would prepare a “comprehensive plan to protect Dokdo,” specifying an establishment of the department fully responsible for generally managing and planning the Dokdo protection measure and construction of a Dokdo Marine and Science Research Institute.

Gyeongbuk Province Governor Lee Eui-geun asserted at the news conference that Japan’s intrusive action in the “Korea and Japan Friendship Year” was a betrayal, showing a “honeyed tongue, but a heart of gall” expression.

Kwon-Hyo Lee Sung-Jin Choi boriam@donga.com choi@donga.com