South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited the Spanish Senate Library on Wednesday (local time) and said a map of Joseon Dynasty owned by the library is “a very valuable historical document that shows Dokdo is Korean territory.” He stressed repetitively that Dokdo islets are part of Korean territory amid sharp tensions between South Korean and Japan from Japan’s claim over the islets.
Presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mi said that President Moon thanked the members of the Spanish Senate Library for showing him the map of Joseon Dynasty after a joint speech was made by the Spanish Senate and Congress of Deputies. Japan recently showed Dokdo as part of its territory on the map for Tokyo Olympics and the promotion video of the Self-Defense Forces. In particular, the Japanese side even canceled a short meeting scheduled between South Korea and Japan at the G7 summit, citing the South Korean military’s Dokdo defense drill that began on Tuesday as a reason and claiming its ownership over Dokdo.
The map of Joseon Dynasty is part of the China maps published by Jean Baptiste Bourguignon dAnville, an 18th-century French geographer and map maker. It is known as the oldest map of Joseon Dynasty in existence created by a Westerner. The map, which was drawn based on a China map from an original survey, marks Dokdo and Ulleungdo as part of Joseon Dynasty’s territory. On the map, Chinese characters for a different name of Dokdo, Usando (于山島), were misspelled as Cheonsando (千山島) and the name of Dokdo is written in the Chinese pronunciation of Cheonsando, “TchianChanTao.” As the director of the library showed the map, introducing it as a map of the Korean Peninsula in the 1730s and the most relevant record to Koreans, the president took off his glasses to carefully examine the map.
“It is unpleasant and insensible that Japan keeps changing its words and makes slightly disparaging remarks, perhaps because of its domestic political factors,” Rhee Cheol-hee, a senior presidential secretary for political affairs, said on the CBS Radio on Thursday regarding Japan’s cancellation of a meeting at the G7 summit.