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The learning and virtue monument finally finds its home

Posted October. 25, 2018 07:42,   

Updated October. 25, 2018 07:42


With the “Day of Dokdo” head on Thursday, the monument of learning and virtue for the late professor of law at Yonsei University Park Kwan-sook (1921-1978), who is the “No. 1 doctor of Dokdo,” finally found its home. It has been two years since the Dong-A Ilbo reported it (page A25 dated October 24, 2016). The Ulleung County decided that it is necessary to commemorate the efforts and achievements of the early researchers of Dokdo and held an unveiling ceremony of learning and virtue monument adjacent to the Dokdo Museum in Ulleung town on Saturday. Governor Kim Byeong-soo of Ulleung, Deputy Minister Shim Bo-gyun of Public Administration and Security, the family of the deceased, and Sung In-sook, who participated in producing the monument attended the event.

The monument of learning and virtue, which was disengaged from the world and kept in a warehouse in Ulleung County office, finally found its place in 34 years. The monument, which commemorates Professor Park, was produced in 1984 by “A Group of Sungkyunkwan University Students who Love Dokdo” after his death. The Group planned on placing the monument in Dokdo but failed to do so as Dokdo was a natural monument. Afterwards, family members of the deceased and the producers continuously requested relevant institutions to stand the monument. Reports by The Dong-A Ilbo also helped the world to find out the existence of the monument. All these efforts finally led to standing the learning and virtue monument.

Professor Park is assessed to be a figure who devoted his whole life in providing the legal foundation that “Dokdo is Korea’s territory” through researches on the legal status of Dokdo. Professor Park, who is originally from Northern Province of Pyeongan, received a doctorate degree at Yonsei University in 1968 for the first time in Korea with the “Research on the Legal Status of Dokdo.”Since then, he participated in writing some 100 documents related to Dokdo including thesis and articles for publication, concentrating on revealing the fact that “Dokdo is the territory of the Republic of Korea.” Former President Park Chung-hee, who valued Professor Park’s love towards Dokdo, even sent a funeral oration written on a A5 sized pulp paper four days after the professor’s death.

“It is very meaningful that the learning and virtue monument, which was forgotten for thirty some years, was able to see the light with the Day of Dokdo ahead,” Park Kwan-joo (age 85), a younger cousin of Professor Park, told The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday. “The fact that Dokdo is Korea’s territory needs to be spread even more so that all the hard work of my cousin (Professor Park) are not left in vain.”

Teuk-Gyo Koo kootg@donga.com