Go to contents

Korea Steps Up Undersea Naming Efforts

Posted April. 26, 2006 03:17,   


With the aim of getting Korean names for undersea features near the Dokdo islets registered with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the government has decided to strengthen its diplomatic efforts for the nomination of a Korean for a member of the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names under the IHO.

On April 25, a senior government official said that the IHO’s Vice Admiral Alexandros Maratos would visit Korea on May 1, and that the government would sign an MOU to provide $100,000 every year to the IHO for its waterway project for developing countries during his visit, which is an attempt to create a favorable environment within the IHO for the Korean nomination.

In addition, the official said, “The government plans to suggest the Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names to adopt Korean geographical names early next year at the earliest.”

The government also plans to launch a task force dedicated to the Dokdo islets issues and resume projects related to the islets, which have been halted due to possible diplomatic conflicts with Japan.

It is now reviewing the plans to erect a bronze statue of Hong Sun-chil, who had served as a chief of the volunteer Dokdo defense corps from 1953 to 1956 and died in 1986, and establish an unmanned marine observatory in Dokdo islets and a Dokdo marine science research center in Ulleungdo.

The Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute will start an environmental survey on the marine ecosystem around Dokdo islets next month with a budget of 950 million won.

However, the government dismissed the possibility of abolishing the New Fishery Agreement between Korea and Japan, which was signed in 1999, saying, “The agreement is advantageous to the Korean side in terms of fishing and an abolition of the treaty could turn the East Sea into a sea of conflict.”

Keuk-In Bae bae2150@donga.com