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Dokdo Tour to be Permitted Starting from April 30

Posted March. 23, 2005 22:38,   


The Dokdo (336th natural monument) tour will be zealously permitted starting April 30. The Dokdo protection policy, which had focused on “observing safely,” has changed to “cultivating beautifully.”

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced on March 23 the guidelines for managing Dokdo that allow Ulleung-gun to establish regulations governing the reservation and a guide system for the Dokdo tour, while also increasing the number of visitors from a previous limit of 70 people per day to 70 per tour and a total of 140 per day. The proposal went through deliberation and was passed in the Natural Monument Council of Cultural Heritage Committee on the same day.

With the draft passing, ships for the Dokdo tour, which will travel between Dongdo of Dokdo and Ullengdo, will be operated on a regular basis twice daily, and the “Dokdo Management Guide,” which had limited the number of travelers to Dokdo since 1999, is set to be scrapped.

Yoo Hong-joon, the head of Cultural Heritage Administration, held a press conference on March 23 and said, “Regular Dokdo tours will be possible from April 30 when excursion streamers and convenient facilities become ready to start service, even though only a maximum of 140 people per day can visit Dokdo from March 24 only with previous registration.”

Yoo also made comments about the concerns over Dokdo’s environmental damage, “People don’t have to worry about environmental destruction because the tour is allowed only from March to early June and from September to October, and there are only 40 possible days for the tour considering weather conditions. Also, tourism spots are limited to small passages from alongside the pier to the lighthouse at the peak.”

On that day, architect Seung Hyo-sang, a member of the Architecture Advisory Committee at the Cultural Heritage Department, announced a draft measure of the “Plan for Dokdo Environment Protection,” which includes renovation projects for artificial facilities indiscriminately built in Dokdo without any planning. The theme of project is the spirit of the place, and the project contains detailed plans such as covering the 600-pyong cement facilities alongside the pier with trees, changing cement stairs and stainless guardrails in the mountain passage to wooden ones, and replacing the location and design of the monument, called “the Spirit of Korea.”

The Cultural Heritage Department is planning to spend two billion won for the Dokdo Environment Protection Project.

Chae-Hyun Kwon confetti@donga.com