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China Seeking Sovereignty over Korean Island

Posted August. 09, 2008 07:24,   


China is moving to wrest sovereignty of the small island Ieo from Korea.

The state-run China Oceanic Information Network said on its homepage (www.coi.gov.cn) that Suyan Rock, the Chinese name for Ieo, has been a fishing area for thousands of years for Chinese from Shandong, Jiansu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Taiwan.

The network also said in data updated Dec. 24 last year that the island is Chinese because it lies in China’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has demanded negotiations with Korea on the use of Ieo Island before, but this is the first time for a lower-ranking office of the Chinese government to claim the island in official data.

Ieo is 149 kilometers from Mara Island and located far south of Korean territory. With an observation facility set up by the Korean government, the island is 247 kilometers away from Tong Island in a straight line.

Ieo is considered Korean territory even under international standards.

In Seoul, the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said, “Ieo Island is a submerged rock and a 2006 agreement between Korea and China says it is not subject to territorial dispute. We will ask China for a correction.”