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Minister: Settlements On Dokdo Won’t Benefit Korea’s Claim

Minister: Settlements On Dokdo Won’t Benefit Korea’s Claim

Posted April. 22, 2005 23:37,   


In a meeting with New York correspondents on Thursday, April 21, environment minister Kwak Kyul-ho, who is currently visiting the U.S. for a United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) meeting, said, “There are talks of settling people on Dokdo island in the National Assembly, but if artificial structures are set up in the island, they may threaten the ecosystem and the scenery.”

He added, “If these facilities would help consolidate our claim on Dokdo in terms of international law, it could be considered, but it is the dominant opinion that measures to strengthen effective control over the island after there is different opinion from a neighbor country will not be effective in terms of international law.”

Kwak said, “The recent announcement by the Cultural Properties Administration to lighten the restrictions for entering Dokdo was agreed to by the Environment Ministry after a close examination of its potential effects on the ecosystem.”

He pointed out, “It was decided that in order to minimize the effects on the ecosystem, 70 people at most can enter the Dokdo islets at once, and a maximum of 140 a day. Increasing this figure is undesirable.”

Following the special law to preserve the ecosystem of islands including Dokdo, setting up facilities which may affect Dokdo’s ecosystem will be carried out only after consulting with the Ministry of the Environment.

Kwon-Heui Hong konihong@donga.com