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Dokdo Resident Gets Private Phone Line

Posted May. 02, 2006 03:00,   


The first telephone line will be installed for private use in Dokdo, Korea’s easternmost islets.

KT, a Korean telecom company, announced it will provide wired phone service for Kim Sung-do (66, resident of San 20, Dokdo-ri, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun, North Gyeongsang Province), by sending several KT workers to him when he returns to Dokdo from Ulleungdo, a neighboring island, on May 3.

KT was supposed to install the telephone line on March 22, but had to delay its plan as the dispatched workers withdrew because of bad weather.

An official of KT said, “The weather forecast says it will be fine on May 3. So workers will not get in any trouble getting there by boat or completing the installation then.”

There are six telephone lines and 11 hot lines in Dongdo, where Dokdo security guards are stationed. But Seodo, in which Mr. Kim resides, does not have any phone lines, giving Kim some problems in living there.

KT is planning to provide the service without spoiling the islets’ natural scenery by wirelessly linking Seodo with Dongdo, whose line is connected to Ulleungdo.

With the phone, Mr. Kim is now able to make an emergency call as well as to say hello to his relatives.

KT says that the phone service will show all over the world that Dokdo belongs to Korea.

The last four figures of the phone number will be 1693.

KT said the figures are to commemorate the work of Ahn Yong-bok, a Korean fisherman under King Sukjong, in the Joseon Dynasty. In 1693, he went to Japan to claim Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo and block Japanese fishermen from fishing in the Korean waters near Dokdo and Ulleungdo.

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com