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“Sea of Peace” Suggestion Unofficial?

Posted January. 09, 2007 03:01,   


It was confirmed on January 8 that President Roh suggested to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the summit meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 18, 2006 that the name of the East Sea be changed into the “Sea of Peace” or “Sea of Friendship.” The two heads of state were at the APEC summit.

Cheong Wa Dae announced that President Roh told the Japanese Prime Minister, “I want Japan to present an active suggestion for a new cooperative relationship between the two countries over issues such as Yasukuni Shrine, or history textbook. For example, if the two agree to call the East Sea the “Sea of Peace” or “Sea of Friendship,” such an agreement will lay a foundation for a bilateral dialogue.”

According to Cheong Wa Dae, President Roh soon added, “The issue of “East Sea” will not be resolved easily. But the resolution will enhance trust between the two. I was just trying to cite an example. It was just an idea, not an official offer.”

Cheong Wa Dae made public Roh’s remark in the article posted on the official website of Cheong Wa Dae in the name of Chief Secretary to the President for National Security after news report that President suggested the name change of the East Sea.

Meanwhile Japan`s Jiji news agency reported, beneath a quotation from a Japanese official, “Prime Minister Abe immediately rejected Korean President Roh’s suggestion. Japan was not sure weather he meant it or not.”

The Korean government determined the English name of “Donghae” as “East Sea” in 1991, and officially argued it should be called the “East Sea” in the international community. But the government accepted the simultaneous use of East Sea and Sea of Japan under the U.N.’s recommendation to do so when countries sharing a geographical feature do not agree on a common name.

A government official said, “The government’s principle has not changed and will continue to insist on using the East Sea, or at least on using the both terms together.”