U.S. recognized Japanese claims on Dokdo!

dokdo.gifIt’s been revealed that the United States, when concluding its peace treaty with Japan immediately after the Korean War, unilaterally concluded that the Dokdo islets were Japanese territory, reports the Segye Ilbo. Or so the “Report of the Van Fleet Mission to the Far East,” obtained by the paper from VMI’s George C. Marshall Library, would seem to suggest.
The report noted that when Washington and Tokyo drew up their draft of the peace treaty, Korea laid claim to the islets, but the United States decided sovereignty over the rocks belonged to Japan. Accordingly, Dokdo was NOT included among the islands over which Japan agreed to give up sovereignty after the war, the report said.
The report said that even though the United States believes the islets to be Japan’s, it has avoided intervening in the dispute. It also noted that Washington felt it appropriate to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice, and that it had unofficially conveyed this opinion to the Korean government.
Anyway, the Segye Ilbo translated the contents of the report for the benefit of Korean readers. Main points:

  • The report, which was drawn up by Korean War USFK commander General James A. Van Fleet following a 1954 tour of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines as President Eisenhower’s special envoy, was categorized as top secret for 30 years;
  • With no clear grounds cited, the United States recognized Japan’s claims over the Dokdo islets, and–in accordance with Japan’s reasoning–took as its internal position that the problem should be resolved by referring the matter to the ICJ. Accordingly, there will likely be debate over how fairly the United States handled the issue following the war;
  • The report also refused to recognize the MacArthur Line, which the Korea government used to base its claims on the Dokdo islets;
  • The Korean government asked the United States to include the MacArthur Line into the San Francisco Peace Treaty and permanently ban Japanese fishing boats from operating in waters near the Dokdo islets, but the United States turned down the Korean request, believing it to run contrary to the principle of international law, which Washington was trying to support at the time. The MacArthur Line was established to prevent enemy intrusions into the waters around the Korean Peninsula, and was abolished as the United States and Japan concluded their peace treaty, but Korean President Syngman Rhee kept it as an operating line, renaming it the “Peace Line.” Washington informed Seoul that it did not recognize the validity of the line, and protested that it violated international law.
  • The report said, however, that the United States did not state its positions on the issue publicly. Only a handful of Korean officials knew Washington’s position on the matter, and Japan was kept completely unaware;
  • In a prior report, Van Fleet also recorded that it was U.S. policy not to support pre-emptive attacks or the use of force to unify the Korean Peninsula or overthrow the communist government in China;
  • He added that it was National Security Council policy to realign U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula and ultimately withdraw all U.S. forces from both Korea and Japan.

Van Fleet served as commander of USFK from April 1951, in the middle of the Korean War, to January 1953. The general, who lost his Air Force officer son during the war, is called the father of the Korean Army, having spent much effort on making the South Korean military an effective fighting force through such measures as rebuilding the country’s army academy.
A West Point classmate of Ike, he toured the Far East in 1954 as presidential envoy, submitting a rather massive report on Sept. 30 of that year. The report analyzed military trends in the region and pending political and diplomatic issues. In particular, the report gave detailed accounts of the combat capabilities of the Korean military and its weapon systems.
The report was declassified between January and June of 1986, but had escaped notice till now.

  • http://seoular.wordpress.com Iceberg

    I predict this will be a long thread.

  • http://plungepontificates.blogspot.com Plunge

    It might be, but none of this goes to the heart of Korea’s claim.

  • thorin

    It only took the Segye Ilbo 20 years to decipher the declassified report. What a scoop.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Plunge is right — there isn’t much dispute that Japan
    started claiming (in the modern international style)
    sovereignty over these rocks while Korea was under its
    colonial control and couldn’t protest against it internationally (having indeed far greater problems on
    its hands), and that after the war the USA was ambiguous
    at best about what seemed like an extremely minor dispute.

    So there’s not much new here. Korea’s claim to the rocks
    is all about what happened in the half-millennium or so
    before Japan took over Korea, about the making of early
    maps and so on…

  • R. Elgin

    I would also like to let people know about this site, which may also be pertinent:

    Early U.S.-Korea Diplomatic Relations
    Many aspects of history can be examined through the use of visual materials,
    and certainly the emerging relationship between the United States and Korea
    is no exception. Drawing on a collection of photographs and sketches
    executed by Willard Dickerman Straight in 1904 and 1905, this comprehensive
    exhibit from Cornell University uses these materials to create a visual and
    contextual narrative of Korea at a most critical juncture in its more
    recent, modern history? First-time visitors will want to peruse the Flash-
    enabled timeline offered here to get a sense of the emerging relationship
    between these two nations during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
    Interestingly enough, Straight himself was a graduate of Cornell, and he
    also helped found The New Republic magazine. Additional information about
    Straight can be found in the biographical essay offered here, and offers a
    bit of helpful background before delving into the photographic database.

  • wjk

    great link, R. Elgin. Good schools do good stuff.

  • http://www.migukin.com Shelton Bumgarner

    i still want one of those shirts that say “Dokdo is Korean.”

    anybody know how much it would cost to take a trip to Dokdo?

  • genie201

    The letter from Additional State Secretary Mr. Dean Rusk to the Ambassador of ROK in 1951 says; This normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shiname Prefecture of Japan. The island does not appear ever before to have been claimed by Korea

  • MJ

    damn yankees… always causin’ trouble.

  • cm

    Here we go again. This is the time when Gbevers steps in to say dastardly Koreans stole Takeshima from Japan.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer


  • Brendon Carr

    Sperwer wrote:


    You said it, brother. But that *is* a lovely picture of the disputed rocks, isn’t it?

  • gbevers

    Very interesting. Maybe, now, people will, at least, stop saying that the US supported Korea’s claim on Dokdo.

  • cm

    Yup. Told you so.

  • Curzon

    You bums need to register gravatars.

    Interesting stuff, although I remain bemused at how seriously Korea takes this whole issue. Great article on the current Japan-Korea-China tensions from Newsweek (really): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7529463/site/newsweek/

  • slim

    I retain my personal claim on the Liancourt Rocks, regardless of what the archives and the occupiers or fabricators of Korea or Japan say.

  • Mi Hwa

    America is not the arbiter of the Dokdo debate.

    However, Dokdo is not worth arguing about, because it doesn’t have strategic value, and is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Global warming is going to cause sea levels to rise by several meters, and Dokdo could become underwater after a few decades.

  • wjk


    America is not the one to decide who owns Dokdo.

    Mr. Bevers, please educate us, the “misled” Korean masses on how Japan has a better historical grasp on Takeshima, as you would call it.

    Cause I don’t really see it.

    As a matter of fact, I challenge you to edit the wikipedia article, from your view point.

    Cause I don’t really see your view at all.

  • wjk

    and if you don’t do it, Mr. Bevers, one can only conclude that you’re a lot huff and puff.

  • http://bluejives.net/blog bluejives

    [i]However, Dokdo is not worth arguing about, because it doesn’t have strategic value, and is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Global warming is going to cause sea levels to rise by several meters, and Dokdo could become underwater after a few decades.[/i]

    If water levels rise so much that it covers Dokto’s highest peak, then truly this would be the least of our worries.

  • Mi Hwa

    Scientists recently discovered that the polar ice caps are melting at a faster rate than predicted. These ice caps are larger than most continents, and the melted ice is going to greatly increase sea levels. All the coastal areas and small islands in the world are in danger of being submerged within this century.

  • slim

    I will transfer my claim to the Liancourt rocks to the (by then, simlarly sized) peak of Mount Halla if the seas rise as much as Mi-Hwa believes.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Yeah, Mihwa — sea levels are projected to rise by a
    meter in this century, maybe two — even by 1 foot
    would cause us tremendous damage and expensive changes
    worldwide — but even the smaller peak of Dok-do is
    more than 20 m high — haven’t you ever seen photos…?

  • ghola

    maybe, if we do our part in speeding up the global warming process, I can witness firsthand the island nation of japan sink under. perhaps a combination of tsunami, earthquake and global warming will sink that demon spawing hellhole.

  • http://seoular.wordpress.com Iceberg

    Thank you ghola.

    Okay, let’s get this (thread) party started!

  • gbevers

    The Hankyoreh reports here that 60 percent of Japanese know of the Korea-Japan dispute over Dokdo/Takeshima, and that 53.8% of those believe the islets belong to Japan, 7.6 percent think it belongs to Korea, and 38.6% said they did not care. Among those who said the islets belonged to Japan, 48% claimed US diplomatic documents supported Japan’s claim; 23% said that Japan took procession first; and 15% said it was in the Sea of Japan.

    When asked how the dispute should be resolved, 43.4% said that a peaceful solution should be sought by strengthening the Japan-Korea Fishing Agreement; 24.1% said it should be handled according to international law; 8% said it should be solved through bilateral dialog, and 4.2% said the currect situation should be maintained.

    The Japanese seem to have a very rational view of the dispute. I wonder what a similar survey in Korea would show?

  • http://seoular.wordpress.com Iceberg

    At least .00000002% of the respondents would recommend solving the dispute by buying more SUVs.

  • hardyandtiny

    Did any hostess bars in Itaewon change their name to Dokdo yet?

  • michael

    There’s a “Dokdo Tuna” restaurant in Shinchon, last time we went there some Japanese diners across from us were marveling at how cheap the food was :)

  • Mi Hwa

    Everything in Japan is overpriced.

  • judge judy


    the rights have never really been about that rock in the middle of nowhere. they’ve been about the fishing rights such ownership of the land area would allow.

  • gbevers

    Wjk wrote: “Mr. Bevers, please educate us, the “misled” Korean masses on how Japan has a better historical grasp on Takeshima, as you would call it.”

    Gerry Writes: I have talked about this issue many times on this blog. Were you not around at the time? Here is a link to a past discussion to help catch you up on some of the “lessons” you have missed.

  • gbevers

    Has anyone seen this story mentioned in any of Korea’s English-language newspapers? I only read the online versions and have not seen any mention of it. I have not even seen it mentioned on any of the Korean TV news programs. Have I missed it or are there some things the Korean media, and maybe the Korean government, would rather non-Koreans not know?

  • http://koreanamerican431.blogspot.com/ baduk

    A bloody soccer game is necessary to settle the issue once and for all. It will be so much fun.

    If Korea wins, it not only keeps the isle but also gains the fishing rights around there.

  • frogmouth

    What the States said means jack.

    This 1870 Japanese agreement clearly gives Chosun control both Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo) Here is the document. (Scroll down to the third image.)
    The writings at that time started from the top right and worked down. We can read the Chinese characters 竹島松島朝鮮附屬. Broken down this means 竹島(Jukdo)松島 (Songdo=Dokdo)朝鮮(Chosun/Korea) 附屬 (Part of included or together). Jukdo and Songdo are said to be part of Chosun in this Japanese document. Dokdo is also referred to as 隣島 (In-do)or neighbor island.

    There is a lot of confusion as to what island were being referred to by the Japanese in the aforementioned document.

    Here is a Japanese map showing the correct positions of Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo). It was made a hundred years before the Japanese gave Tokdo away.

    This map also shows both Ullengdo (竹島) and Songdo(松島) in their correct locations. Click on the right icon to view large image of Chinese characters.

  • Mi Hwa

    One possible solution to the controversy is for Japan and Korea to share Dokdo. There could be joint ventures or the island can be divided into two sides.

  • gbevers


    Yes, there is a question of what islands the 1870 Japanese document were referring to. If the document were actually referring to Dokdo/Takeshima, then the Koreans did not realize it because in 1882 Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong that 송죽도(松竹島)was just off the coast of Ulleung-do, which would be Korea’s present-day 죽도. Also, in an 1899 Korean textbook, Ulleungdo’s administrative district was described as extending east to 130 degrees, 45 minutes, which would include present-day 죽도, but not present-day Dokdo-Takeshima, which is at a longitude of 131 degrees, 55 minutes.

    As for the 1779 Japanese map, I do not understand the point you are trying to make, unless you just wanted to establish that the Japanese referred to Ulleung-do as 竹島(죽도) and Dokdo as(松島)?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert

    What the States said means jack.

    Unfortunately, that might not necessarily be true, because Korea based its claims on Dokdo, at least initially, on a line drawn by and named for an American general.

  • frogmouth

    Bevers, Lee Gyu-won’s beliefs don’t dictate national policy. Official government documents relating to disputes do. Isn’t it also true his motives are questionable…?

    Considering some of the maps of the time it’s a big mistake to use lines of longitude and latitude as a basis of resolving this issue.

    My point is this. Korean and European maps of this era leave doubt as to what isles the concerned parties were referring to. Japan was the only nation in the region with maps of reasonable accuracy.

    The document I mentioned proves the Japanese gave control of these isles to Korea. The maps I’ve shown show Japan was referring to Ullengdo and Tokdo not tiny rocks a few meters coast of Ulleungdo.

  • gbevers


    If official government documents dictate national policy, where are Korea’s maps and official documents claiming Dokdo? Where are the Korean maps that even show Dokdo? There are none, at least not before President Rhee decided to claim Dokdo/Takeshima was Korean, a claim we now know the US did not agree with.

    I think that Jukdo, that little island just off the coast of Ulleungdo, has caused a lot of the confusion. I think the 1870 Japanese document was referring to Ulleungdo and that the little island just off the coast of Ulleungdo and its neighboring island Jukdo. As I have pointed out, if Japan really did give Korea Dokdo/Takeshima, why didn’t Korea ever acknowledge that fact? Why did Lee Kyu-won tell King Kojong in 1882 that 송죽도 was the little island just off the coast of Ulleungdo?

    Also, you are wrong about Lee Kyu-won. His reports did help dictate national policy because he was the official who was sent to survey Ulleungdo for the King of Korea, and he was the one who reported to King Kojong about the situation there. He reported only on Ulleungo and Jukdo, not on any other island named “Dokdo” or one of aliases used for Dokdo. In fact, Lee Kyu-won reported that he climbed to the top of the highest peak on Ulleungdo on a clear day and looked out in all directions, but did not see any other islands on the horizon. That proves that pretty much proves that it is difficult, if not impossible, to see Dokdo/Takeshima from Ulleungdo with the naked eye, even on a clear day.

    I am not sure what islands the Japanese document were referring to, but it seems pretty clear to me that the Koreans did not know that Japan had given them Dokdo/Takeshima. Even in 1946, a Korean book describing Korea’s national boundaries said that Jukdo, just off the coast of Ulleungdo, was Korea’s eastern-most boundary. The book even give the longitude to clarify it, and that longitude was not far enough east to include present-day Dokdo/Takeshima. One of the interesting things about that book was that it said that another name for Ulleungdo’s Jukdo was “Dokdo.”

  • frogmouth

    Sorry gbervers but you base your arguement on a lot of suppositions and interpretations. Also, the questions you raise about lack of Korean documents are obvious given Japan’s military colonization of the peninsula.

    Citing what Lee Kyu-won saw or didn’t see is a lame way of establishing international boundary disputes. Let’s stick with official docs and maps instead of all this he said-she said nonsense all right?

    The Japanese maps I posted are highly detailed and accurate. I’m sorry but official Japanese maps and docs take precendent over what “you think”

    Gerry, I’ve seen many historical Japanese maps and they all show considerable distance between Ulleungdo(Jukdo) and Tokdo(Songdo) this disproves your little island theory.

    The maps I gave you clearly show what Japan defined as Ulleugdo and Dokdo and you haven’t shown anything concrete to prove otherwise. The document seals the deal with regard to possession.

    Korea hardly has to prove ownership when Japan clearly gives them jurisdiction in it’s own official government documents. The onus isn’t on Korea at all, Japan’s own attention to detail, governmental docs and highly developed cartography have pretty much cooked their own goose.

  • gbevers


    Japanese maps show that the Japanese knew about Dokdo/Takeshima while Korean maps show that Koreans didn’t know about it or did not consider it important enough to ever map. And judging from your comments, Frogmouth, you do not seem to realize that there are two islands indicated with the Chinese characters meaning “Bamboo Island.” The Japanese use the characters to refer to Dokdo/Takeshima, and Koreans use them to refer to the small island, Jukdo, just off the coast of Ulleungdo. You can see the Korean “Bamboo Island” on the following map:


    That little island is what a Korean book referred to as “Dokdo” in 1946. I believe that that little island is what has been causing much of the confusion for both the Koreans and the Japanese.

    Just like you, Frogmouth, many nationalist Koreans may wish that Lee Kyu-won’s report to King Kojong did not exist, but it does exist. He explained to King Kojong that Usan was another name for Ulleungdo and that SongJukdo was the small island just off the coast of Ulleungdo. He also said that he could see no other islands from the top of Ulleungdo’s highest peak. All of that is very clearly written in Korea’s official records, and it does not need any supposition or interpretation.

    Also, Frogmouth, you admitted earlier that “there is a lot of confusion as to what island were being referred to by the Japanese in the aforementioned document,” but in the post just previous to this you said, “The document seals the deal with regard to possession.” Were you able to clear up the confusion in the last 24 hours?

    Frogmouth, what really sealed the deal with regard to possession was a 1905 Japanese document that claimed Takeshima for Japan. Even Japan’s former enemy, the United States agreed, as you can see from footnote 3 in the following document:


    The footnote says that on August 10, 1951, Dean Rusk, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, said “As regards the island of Dokdo … this normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture of Japan.”

  • frogmouth

    Key phrase Gerry “according to our information” Americans then, or even to this day are hardly experts on Chosun Korea.

    I’m not interested in hearing the same information from the Korean/American/European sides over and over again because their records and maps are too primitive, ambiguous and/or inconclusive.

    You are right on one point Japanese docs/maps prove Japan knew about Dokdo but that’s not all…..
    There are three crucial words on the Japanese document that prove me right. Jukdo-Songdo-Chosun. The mere mention of Chosun on the document proves Japanese knew that KOREANS were aware these isles existed. This nullifies the Shimane Prefecture inclusion.

    The phrase “a part of acknowledges” possession. The maps posted prove what islands were intended as they are very accurate also one is about the same age as the document. The other Japanese maps from this era also support this.

    I’ve cleared up this confusion quite well but apparently you are in denial. Please point out where the document and maps fall short Gerry. I’m still waiting.

  • frogmouth

    Again Jukdo-Songdo-Part of Chosun.

    Even Tarzan could follow that Gerry. Why can’t you?

  • gbevers


    In 1882, Lee Kyu-won told King Kojong that the small island just off the coast of Ulleungdo was SongJukdo(송죽도). The Japanese that Lee Kyu-won found on the island during his 1882 inspection referred to Ulleungdo as Songdo(송도), not Jukdo(죽도), as you claimed in your post above. He also found a marker erected on Ulleungdo dated 1869 that called the island Songdo(송도) and said it belonged to the Japanese Empire.

    So the year just before the 1870 document was written, the Japanese were referring to Ulleungdo as Songdo(송도), and in 1882, twelve years after the document was written, the Japanese were still referring to Ulleungdo as Songdo(송도). So, as you should be able to see, there was confusion about what islands Songdo(송도) and Jukdo(죽도) were referring to. They could have been referring to Ulleungdo and the small island just off its coast, Jukdo(죽도), and not present-day Dokdo/Takeshima. We cannot be sure because there were no coordinates mentioned. However, coordinates were mentioned in the 1899 Korean publication Daehanjiji(대한지지), which said that the Choson Empire stretched from longitude 124 Degrees, 30 minutes to 130 Degrees 35 minutes. That means that in 1899, Koreans did not consider Dokdo/Takeshima a part of their empire since Dokdo/Takeshima is located at a longitude of 131 degrees, 55 minutes.

    When Japan incorporated Dokdo/Takeshima into the Japanese Empire in 1905, they listed its correct coordinates, so there is no confusion about that.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry by citing the 1899 대한지지 (1899 Map of Korea) you proved the point I was trying to make. Korean maps of the time were notoriously inaccurate. In fact if you look at the map that accompanies the text of the 1899 대한지지 you will see that the isles are drawn far too west in fact Ulleungdo is drawn touching the 130 degree line of longitude. That’s too much of a discrepancy to use this document as an accurate reference tool. Even Ulluengdo which is indisputably part of Korea doesn’t fall within the boundaries of Chosun you mentioned on the document you mention.

    It’s amusing to watch you attempt to manipulate geography and rewrite history by shamelessly plugging in the enormous gaps of Lee’s report with you own self serving interpretations.

    Gerry writes “So the year just before the 1870 document was written, the Japanese were referring to Ulleungdo as Songdo(송도)” This is wrong and all Japanese maps of this time prove otherwise. Show me an accurate Japanese map of this era to validate this assumption of yours.
    The Japanese used the Jukdo Hanja characters to refer to Ulluengdo at this time.
    Check my maps again. They are representative of all other Japanese maps of this era.

    Gerry writes
    “I am not sure what islands the Japanese document were referring to…”

    Historical fact tells us that over the last few centuries the Japanese used to sets of Hanja to denote Dokdo. They were 松島 (Songdo) and 竹島 (Jukdo). However you want to play your shell game by shuffling islands and names, BOTH of islands appear on the 1870 document that declare this land Chosun territory.

  • gbevers


    The 1899 Daehan Jiji(대한지지) does not only show a map of Ulleungdo and Usan right next to each other, it says in the text that the Chosun Empire stretches from an east longitude of 124 degrees, 30 minutes to 130 degrees, 35 minutes, which really makes the accuracy of the map irrelevant. Besides, the map is pretty accurate and shows very clearly that Ulleungdo and Usan, which Koreans have claimed in Dokdo, does not even come close to reaching the 131 degree longitude line. This is important because present-day Dokdo/Takeshima is located on the other side of that line at 131 degrees, 55 minutes, which is much farther east.

    The following is a link to the map in the 1899 text. Just scroll down until you see 대한전도 in 1899.


    I cannot read the Japanese document, but if the document is giving territory to Chosun Korea, then the Japanese are obviously responding to some request from Chosun Korea. If that is true, then why did Korea make such a request? Is it possible that Koreans saw the marker on Ulleungdo dated 1869 claiming Ulleungdo was the Japanese territory of Songdo(松島)? Did the Koreans respond by demanding that Japan recognize again Chosun Korea’s claim on Ulleungdo and Jukdo(竹島), the island just off the coast of Ulleungdo?

    The Japanese document may have been written from the Korean point of view, using Songdo(松島) to refer to Ulleungdo and Jukdo(竹島) to refer to the island just off the coast of Ulleungdo. Or, since Lee Kyu-won referred to the small island just off the coast of Ulleungdo as SongJukdo(松竹島) in 1882, maybe Koreans in 1870 had asked the Japanese to recognize Korea’s claim on that island?

    In any event, if Japan had given Korea present-day Dokdo/Takeshima in 1870, why didn’t Koreans recognize this fact in 1882 and 1899? Why did the Chosun Korea document in 1899 say that Chosun Korea’s territory stretched only east to 130 degrees, 35 minutes longitude and not to 131 degrees, 55 minutes? And, then why did the 1946 Korean text, 조선상식문답, say that Korean territory stretched east to only 130 degrees, 56 minutes, 23 seconds, and that Korea’s eastern-most island was Jukdo, which it also referred to as Dokdo?

    The answer is very simple. Koreans never considered Dokdo/Takeshima as part of their territory until Syngman Rhee tried to grab as much Japanese territory as possible after Japan was defeated in World War II. And as we know from the original post in this thread, when Rhee asked for Dokdo/Takeshima, the Americans told him to go take a hike.

  • gbevers


    I gave you the wrong link to the map above. Here is the correct link:


  • frogmouth

    Gerry are posting that crappy postage stamp photo copy from a Japanese propaganda website again? I suggest you do a search on Korean Yahoo and you’ll see the map in its entirety. It’s almost a whole degree off and thus has zero validity. Even the characters are questionable.

    It’s hilarious watching you try to discredit the 1870 Japanese document with hypothetical questions but the fact is you can’t. Japan gave the isles away and at the very least this document is concrete proof that Japan knew Korea was aware of Dokdo.

    This means Japans claim of terra nullius which is based on the premise Dokdo was a no-mans-land is false. After the war Korea had every right to claim Dokdo.

  • wjk

    Gerry, you can’t read Japanese? I’m shocked !

    Anyway, what I got off your argument was that Japan claims Takeshima based on some kind of legal document purchase during the recent occupation.

    Korea seems to claim Dokdo based on older history, whether or not the maps are right or not. Most maps were inaccurate anyway.

    I think Dokdo is Dokdo.

  • wjk

    well, I reconsidered and the map comment is a cheap shot. But I don’t really see how Japan has an older historical claim on the island than Korea does.

  • http://sunshinpolicy.blogspot.com Admiral Yi Sunshin

    Special Agent Gerry Bevers wrote:
    If the document were actually referring to Dokdo/Takeshima, then the Koreans did not realize it because in 1882 Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong that 송죽도(松竹島)was just off the coast of Ulleung-do, which would be Korea’s present-day 죽도.

    Or, since Lee Kyu-won referred to the small island just off the coast of Ulleungdo as SongJukdo(松竹島) in 1882, maybe Koreans in 1870 had asked the Japanese to recognize Korea’s claim on that island?

    “Just off the coast of Ulleung-do,” you say? According to what you wrote last year, Lee Gyu-won was recorded in the Sillok as saying that Songjukdo was at least 30 ri (12 kilometers) off the coast of Ulleung-do. A look at a map (as I did and you did not that warm April of Dangun 4337) revealed that this couldn’t possibly refer to the island “just off the coast of Ulleungdo,” as you describe.

    You should remember this, since there was confusion by you about how far Jukdo was from Ulleung-do (you had placed it farther out than it was, 4 km from Ulleungdo, then you tried to explain away Songjukdo’s “at least 30 ri” distance from Ulleungdo by suggesting Lee Gyu-won meant from the center of Ulleung-do.

    Your assertion that Songjukdo mentioned in the era of Gojong was modernday Jukdo quickly falls to pieces. Pieces which you have tried to obscure by sweeping under the rug or placing a doily over. Well, sir, your doily does not stand!

    I hereby proclaim that no one in the land of Korea shall post on this subject unless they come up with new information. The land of Korea shall be defined to include Daemado.

    The Admiral has spoken.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry as long as you want to post maps of questionable accuracy here’s a map that places Songdo (Dokdo) well with the Chosun boundaries you mentioned. Curses! It’s Japanese.


  • frogmouth

    Gerry here’s another map showing the position of Dokdo in amazingly accurate location although Ulleungdo is a little East.

    This was also make a century before the Japanese gave possesion to Chosun in the 1870 document.

    There can be no doubt about the island refered to in the document. Songdo is Dokdo. You need Java to view.


  • frogmouth

    This one is from 1837 showing the same locations. Quite accurate as well.


  • gbevers


    The Japanese maps show Dokdo/Takeshima, but they do not show it belongs to Korea. At the time, Dokdo/Takeshima were just some useless rocks in the middle of the Sea of Japan. The Japanese did not consider them of value and did not claim them as Japanese territory until 1905. And all of the evidence shows that Korea did not know of the islets before then. Frogmouth, your maps only show that Japan knew about the islets, not that they belonged to Korea. And I notice that you have not shown even one Korean map before 1905 that shows Dokdo/Takeshima.

    Admiral Yi Sunshin,

    The Lee Kyu-won story is one of the smoking guns exposing Korea’s big lie about Dokdo/Takeshima, and Korean historians and the media will paraphrase or selectively quote the records to death without telling you exactly what they say, or else they will elaborate explanations to dismiss the parts they do not like. The reason is that the records say that there is only Ulleungdo and the small island, Songjukdo, next to it.

    Before Lee Kyu-won went to survey Ulleungdo, he told King Kojong that Songjukdo(松竹導) was 삼십여리 from Ulleungdo. If 삼십여리 means “about 30 ‘ri’,” then that would be about 12 kilometers, but if 삼십여리 means “about 3 to 10 ‘ri’,” then that would be about 1.2 to 4 kilometers away from Ulleungdo, which is about the distance Jukdo is from Ulleungdo. However, no matter which measure you chose to use, the context of the conversation shows very clearly that they were not talking about Dokdo/Takeshima, which is 92 kilometers away.

    Here is Lee Kyu-won’s conversation with King Kojong:

    고종 19년 4월 27일 임술

    울릉도와 독도에 대한 사전지식

    고종 : 울릉도에는 근래에 와서 다른 나라 사람들이 무상으로 왕래하면서 편리를 도모하는 폐단이 있다고 한다. 그리고 송죽도(松竹島)와 우산도(芋山島)는 울릉도의 곁에 있는데 서로 떨어져 있는 거리가 얼마나 되는지 또 무슨 물건이 나는지 자세히 알 수 없다. 이번에 네가 가게 된 것은 특별히 골라서 임명한 것이니 각별히 검찰할 것이다.그리고 앞으로 고울을 세울 생각이니 반드시 지도와 함께 별지에다가 자세히 적어 보고할 것이다.

    King Kojong said that he had heard that SongJuk-do and Usan-do were next to Ulleung-do and would like to know how far away they were from each other.

    이규원 : 우산도(芋山島)는 바로 울릉도이며 우산(芋山)이란 바로 옛날의 나라 수도의 이름입니다. 송죽도(松竹島)는 하나의 작은 섬인데 울릉도와 떨어진 거리는 20~30리쯤 됩니다. 여기서 나는 물건은 단향(檀香)과 담뱃설대라고 합니다.

    Lee Kyu-won answered that Usan-do was another name for Ulleung-do and that Usan was the name of the capital city of that ancient country. Then he said that Songjuk-do was a small island about 20 to 30 “ri” from Ulleungdo, where Chinese juniper and thin bamboo grew.

    고종 : 우산도(芋山島)라고도 하고 송죽도(松竹島)라고도 하는데 다 『동국여지승람(東國與地勝覽)』에 실려 있다. 그리고 또 혹은 송도(松島)․죽도(竹島)라고도 하는데 우산도(芋山島)와 함께 이 세 섬을 통칭 울릉도라고 하였다. 그 형세에 대하여 함께 알아볼 것이다. 울릉도는 본래 삼척 영장(三陟營將)과 월송만호(越松萬戶)가 돌려가면서 수색․검열하던 곳인데 거의다 소홀히 대함을 면하지 못하였다. 그저 외부만 살펴보고 돌아왔기 때문에 이런 폐단을 가져왔다. 너는 더 구체적으로 살펴볼 것이다.

    King Kojong said that the text “Donggukyeojiseungram” mentioned Usando and SongJukdo. He said that it also mentioned Songdo and Jukdo and said that Usando and these three islands make up Ulleungdo. Then he said that originally, Samcheokyeongjang and Weolsongmanho had been inspecting Ulleungdo, but 거의다 소홀히 대함을 면하지 못하였다 (they had done a piss-poor job). They were unsucessful because they just looked at the outer portion and returned. I want you to look at it in more detail.

    이규원 : 삼가 깊이 들어가서 살펴보겠습니다. 어떤 사람들은 송도(松島)와 죽도(竹島)는 울릉도의 동쪽에 있다고 하지만 이것은 송죽도 밖에 따로 송도와 죽도가 있는 것은 아닙니다.

    Lee Kyu-won said that he would go deep inside and look around. He also that that some people say that Song-do and Juk-do are to the east of Ulleung-do, but there is only SongJuk-do and no Song-do or Juk-do.

    As you can see from the dialog, Admiral, they are not talking about Dokdo/Takeshima. Not only is Songjukdo too close to Ulleung-do to be Dokdo/Takeshima, it produced Juniper and bamboo, something the rocky islets of Dokdo/Takeshima did not produce.

  • frogmouth

    The information you post is full of holes. People manipulate it simply because they can. It’s too ambiguous so there is no point even bringing to the table.

    Personal conversations and publicationes are tainted by bias, perspective political agendas etc., While government documents and accurate maps are not. The reflect the genuine boundaries and intent of the nations they represented the time.

    You can’t resolve international border diputes with centuries old dialogues and heresay about juniper and bamboo or what the locals said etc. Local residents will often refer to islands or towns by many different names.
    For example it’s a historical fact the Japanese called Dokdo “Pine Island” for centuries.

    Gerry, I never intended to post the maps as seperate, conclusive evidence in itself. These maps were intended to show there can be no doubt as to what the islands the Japanese were referring to in the 1870 document.

    Japan had mapped this area very accurately for a century before the document was issued. They clearly write in black and white that Dokdo is part of Chosun and this can’t be disputed.

  • gbevers


    The conversation between King Kojong and Lee Gyu-won is in the Records of King Kojong, which are “black-and-white” official documents. The record of the conversation says that Ulleungdo and Usanddo are the same island, which blows right out of the water Korea’s claim that Usando was Dokdo/Takeshima.

    The document also says that the only island next to Ulleungdo is Songjukdo, and that there are no separate islands called Songdo and Jukdo. However, during his survey of Ulleungdo, Lee Gyu-won found two islands. One was called 도항(島項, 섬목), the “Neck Island,” and the other was called 죽도(竹島, 댓섬), the “Bamboo Island.” Today, 죽도(Jukdo) is still called “Jukdo,” but 도항 is almost certainly 관음도 (Kwaneumdo), based on Lee Gyu-won’s description of the island.

    In 1882, the Chosun Korea government learned that there were two islands just off the coast of Ulleungdo. In 1899, a Korean text said that the Chosun Empire extended east to a longitude of 130 degrees, 35 minutes, which does not extend far enough east to include Dokdo/Takeshima. In 1900, Korean Imperial Ordinance No. 41 said that Ulleungdo, Jukdo, and Seokdo would become a county of Kangwon Province. Though this was the first time the name Seokdo had appeared, it does not take a genius to figure out that Seokdo was referring to present-day Kwaneungdo, but Koreans insist, without any evidence, that Seokdo was referring to present-day Dokdo/Takeshima. By the way, here is a link to a very nice picture of Kwaneungdo taken from Jukdo, which a 1946 Korean text said was also called “Dokdo.”


    Frogmouth, Korea has no official documents or maps that can credibly support their claim on present-day Dokdo/Takeshima. In fact, the documents and maps they do have show that they did not even know about Dokdo/Takeshima. The evidence supporting Japan’s claim is so clear-cut that one has to wonder how Korean historians can keep silent or make the claims they do without being struck down by thunderbolts from heaven. By the way, Frogmouth, I suggest you keep a eye on the heavens, as well.

  • Wedge

    Wow, don’t you guys think you’re taking these rocks, which should be French anyway, a bit too seriously? I mean, the human race hasn’t even eradicated athlete’s foot yet. [ducks]

  • frogmouth

    First of all that 1882 document was before Lee Kyuwon had even surveyed the region. After he surveyed the region he had more to say.

    First lets clear something up about this 20~30리 nonsense. What is a 리? I’ve heard people on this board say a 리 is 393 meters and this is partly true. However the Japanese 리 is much more in fact it is 4 kilometers.

    If the area had not been surveyed accurately by Chosun as of yet where did the Koreans get this 30 ri figure from? The Japanese of course, surveys of local Japanese residents or fishermen would give 리 in Japanese. Using the Japanese ri makes the most sense when using document the 20~30 Japanese ri places Dokdo easily within this parameters at between 80~120kms. A 1903 Japanese Fishing manual also gives 30ri as the location of Dokdo as the distance apart. Koreans also adopted the 1ri=4 kms as a standard.
    Scroll down.

  • gbevers


    The circumference of Ulleungdo is about 56 kilometers. In his diary of his survey of Ulleungdo, Lee Kyu-won said that the circumference of Ulleungdo was about 140 to 150 “ri.” If you divide 56 kilometers by 140, you get 0.4 kilometers per “ri.” If you divide 56 by 150, you get 0.37 kilometers per “ri.” So, that shows that Lee Kyu-won was not using a 4-kilometer “ri.”

    By the way, an old Korean map says that it is 800 ri from the Korean mainland to Ulleungdo. The distance is actually about 137 kilometers. If you divide 137 by 800, you get 0.17 kilometers per “ri.” If you multiple 0.17 by 20 ri, you get 3.4 kilometers. If you multiple 0.17 by 30 ri, you get 5.1 kilometers. So maybe the pre-survey description of the distance from Ulleungdo to Songjukdo was using this measure, which would describe the distance almost perfectly?

  • frogmouth

    Gerry the 30ri figure was before Lee kyu won went to survery and it was secondhand not his.

    The King had told Lee Kyu won he had heard there was island 30ri away from Ulleungdo and he wanted this confirmed. You explanation of 30ri doesn’t work and mine does.

    It may be noted the 1903 document I listed also says local fisherman say Koreans use Liancourt Rocks as a place to fish. This is another document that confirms Koreans had an interest in and were aware of Dokdo before the 1905 Shimane Prefecture Inclusion.

    More proof again Japans Terra Nullius claim was a sham.

  • gbevers


    King Kojong did not say anything about 30 “ri.” He said that he hear that Usando and Songjukdo were next to Ulleungdo and asked how far apart they were. Lee Gyu-won explained that Usando was another name for Ulleungdo and that Songjukdo was about 30 “ri” from Ulleungdo. He also said that Songjukdo produced Chinese juniper and bamboo, which shows that he was not talking about the barren rocks of Dokdo/Takeshima.

    Lee Gyu-won’s pre-survey knowledge may have been second-hand, but he gave firsthand information on his return. In fact, his detailed report of Ulleungdo is considered valuable because it finally cleared up a lot of the misunderstanding about the island. As I have say, Lee Gyu-won reported that there were two islands just off the coast of Dokdo and that he could see no other islands in the distance. That means that his pre- and post-reports were similar in that neither mentioned anything about Dokdo/Takeshima. In 1882, the Korean government apparently knew nothing about present-day Dokdo-Takeshima, and is definitely did not consider it to be Korean territory.

    Frogmouth, I guess it is possible that Koreans were fishing near Dokdo/Takeshima by 1903, but there is nothing in Korean records to show that the Chosun government knew about it. Did you see the original Japanese document or did you see a Korean translation? Did the Japanese refer to Dokdo/Takeshima as “Liancourt”? If your document was a Korean translation, you have to make sure that the Korean translator did not replace the original name of the island with the name that Koreans want it to be. That happens quite often.

    Maybe you could give us a link to the document, Frogmouth?

  • frogmouth

    Gerry, the Chosun government doesn’t have to claim the island before Japan. Japan can only acquire the territory under terra nullius law if the land is not being used by any other country. I’ve now proven with two documents the isles were being used and not abandoned. The terra nullius claim has now been proven bogus.

    The 1903 document gives the exact location that is exactly 30리 thanks to me we now know 30리 from Ulleungdo is the Japanese location of Dokdo . It says the Koreans fishermen referred to it as “양코” (Liancourt)

    It also says it can be seen from Ulleungdo on a clear day.
    Something you fought tooth and nail to disprove (to no avail) last year. This also agrees with other Koreans testimony.


    There are only two known forms of 리 being used at the time of the Leekyuwon’s survey. One equals 4kms and fits exactly into my theory. The other is about 400 metes which makes no sense whatsoever Gerry unless you use your silly reasoning and try to rewrite ancient Korean/Japanese measuring systems.

  • gbevers


    Dokdo/Takeshima is NOT 30 “ri” from Ulleungdo, whether you use the Korea system of measure or the Japanese. If you used the Korea “ri,” it would mean that Dokdo/Takeshima is 12 kilometers from Ulleungdo, and if you used the Japanese “ri,” it would mean that Dokdo/Takshima is 120 kilometers away. As I hope you know, Frogmouth, Dokdo/Takeshima is 92 kilometers from Ulleungdo. So, if the Black Dragon Society said that Dokdo/Takeshima was 30 “ri” from Ulleungdo, they obviously did not know what they were talking about and seem to be quoting from second-hand sources, possibly from the record of King Kojong’s dialog with Lee Gyu-won.

    In 1903, there were still at least two “Bamboo Islands” in the Sea of Japan. One was just off the coast of Ulleungdo, and the other was Dokdo/Takeshima. I think the Black Dragons just got the two islands confused, and used Korean records that describe the distance from Ulleungdo to the “Bamboo Island” just off its coast. As I said before, there was at least one other measure of “ri” being used in Chosun Korea. You can figure it out by looking at the following Korean map:


    Between Ulleungdo and mainland Korea, notice the following Chinese characters:


    They translate as “Water route is 800 ‘ri.'”

    I have already mentioned this before, but I will say it again. The distance from the Korean mainland to Ulleungdo is 137 kilometers. If you divide 137 by 800 ri, you can see that the mapmaker was using a “ri” that measured 0.17 kilometers.

    If you would like to confirm that meansure, notice that there is also a distance given from the Korean mainland to Taemado(Tsushima) of 470 “ri.” If you multiple 470 “ri” by 0.17 kilometers, you get 80 kilometers. I am not sure where they were measuring from on the mainland, but it looks like it was somewhere north of Busan, which, by the way, is 50 kilometers from Taemado (Tsushima).

    If we multiple 0.17 by the 30 “ri” that Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong was the distance from Ulleungdo to SongJukdo, then we get 5.1 kilometers, which is just about the distance Jukdo is off the shore of Ulleungdo.

    It may be true that Dokdo/Takeshima is visible from a high peak on Ulleungdo on a clear day, but there are only about fifty-five clear days a year on Ulleungdo, and the conditions have to be just right with the wind blowing in the right direction to see Dokdo/Takeshima. I have read that you might be able to catch a glimpse of the islets on a clear day in November.

    There are some fishy things about the passage from the Black Dragon Society book. For example, it says that Koreans referred to Dokdo/Takeshima as 강원도 양코島, but just three years earlier, the Chosun government supposedly named Dokdo/Takeshima “Seokdo” (石島), not 양코島, which was a name the Japanese used for Dokdo/Takeshima.

    I think what happened was that the Black Dragons saw the Chinese characters 竹島 (“Bamboo Island”), possibly from Korean documents, and assumed that it was referring to the Japanese “Bamboo Island” (Dokdo/Takeshima), instead of the Korean “Bamboo Island” just off the coast of Ulleungdo.

    As I have said, by 1903, Korean fisherman may have know about Dokdo/Takeshima, but that does not mean the Chosun government claimed it or even knew about it.

    Actually, Frogmouth, the Chosun government would have had to claim Dokdo/Takeshima before Japan did in 1905 to get possession, but she did not. It is the Korean government that has to prove that Chosun Korea had claim on Dokdo/Takeshima before Japan claimed it in 1905, but the Korean government has no documents or maps that can prove that.

  • gbevers

    By the way, Frogmouth, the reason Korea does not go to the International Court to settle the dispute is that they have little or no documents to prove their claim. Korea’s strategy is to simply occupy the islets and hope Japan someday stops protesting it, so they can acquire the islets by prescription.

    Japan does not assert its claim on the islets to piss Koreans off; it asserts its claim on them to keep from losing legal possession. The reason that Koreans jump up and down, red in the face, everytime Japan asserts its claim on the islets is because Japan’s assertion foils their plan to get the islets by prescription.

  • wjk

    Gerry, correct maps or bad maps, Korea says Dokdo was Dokdo since Shilla.

    I’m sorry for not reading enough about the Japanese side of the story, but Japan seems to say Takeshima was Takeshima since the Edo period.

    That’s relatively much, much, much later, isn’t it?

    So, why do you insist that Japan has a better claim on it?

    Also, regarding the ICJ, I’m sure it’s a really reliable and powerful organization. I mean, UN peacekeepers have succesfully foiled every major military conflict around the world, and the ICJ was able to settlle 99% of international disuputes…The truth is the UN is a very weak coalition. They write more resolutions than they perform action. They only had a bright spot twice, and that was when they were going along with US support in 2 wars. Korean War, and 1991 Gulf War. UN blue helmets were a disaster in Bosnia. European UN blue helmets helping the Serbians rape Muslim Bosnian woman. Caught on tape ! as well. There’s also been a recent accusation that nations are sending border line criminals or the worst quality soldiers to serve as blue helmets in recent times.

  • gbevers


    Since Silla, Korea has been claiming Ulleungdo, not Dokdo/Takeshima, and their maps and documents prove it.

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is different from UN peacekeepers.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry all websites I’ve referenced from say the same thing. King Gojong said to Lee Kyuwon he had heard of an island 30 리 East of Ulleungdo. Lee Kyu Won did not say he knew this distance.
    울릉도 검찰사 이규원은 발령 후 출발 준비를 마치고 출발하면 벌목철이 지나서 일본인들이 철수해버린 다음이 되므로, 출발 예정일을 다음해로 넘겼다. 그 결과 이규원이 울릉도 현지조사를 위하여 정작 서울을 출발한 것은 1882년 음력 4월10일이었다. 이규원은 출발에 앞서 4월7일 국왕을 알현하여 하직 인사를 올렸는데, 이 자리에서 국왕은 울릉도 동쪽 30리 정도에 ‘우산도(독도)’가 있고, 또 ‘송죽도(松竹島)’라는 섬도 있어서 섬이 세 개라는 설도 있으니 이것도 조사해 오도록 하고, 울릉도 현지조사 때에는 사람을 이주시켜 읍(邑)을 설치할 만한 후보지를 조사해 오라고 명령하여, 울릉도 ‘재개척’ 의지를 강력하게 드러냈다.


    The information you posted about the meeting was wrong in the first place.
    The date you posted is wrong. King Gojong did not meet Lee Kyu Won on April 27th. His diary says they met on the 7th. Please post a link to verify the source of this conversation as I have.

    I did a check and the bottom line is under the rule of Gojong 1리=420m or 4kms.
    Remember the Japanese had heavy influence at the time and Korea did in fact adopt the 4km 리 by law by 1909.
    How old is that map?

  • frogmouth

    It may be noted a 리 is actually 3920 meters. The theory that a Japanese 리 used produces an error that isn’t immense like your reasoning that the tiny isle next to Ulleugdo is 12 kms away. That is not plausible given the two historcally verifiable distances we know a ri equals.

    Also the quote is 30여리 or about 30리. We also can’t be sure where they measured from. Therefore the 30리=the distance to Dokdo is possible and you have no alternative theory.

    The second document proves that the Japanese referred to Dokdo being 30리 away. Fishermen don’t suddenly change the names the use to denote an area by government decree Gerry those kind of changes take a generation at least. The document also says both Korean and Japanese fisherman call the island “양코” or Liancourt.

    Gerry making up your own measuring system to accomodate your beliefs or agendas is bad science and history. We have to start with historical facts and then pick the most likely theory from there. We can tweak the 30여리 estimate to collaborate with the possibility that the island being referred was Dokdo.

    The most likely explanation of the map you posted that says Ulleungdo is 800ri away, is that it is a shitty Korean map.
    I think I mentioned that as well.

    My point is Japan terra nullius claim is bogus and is not a valid argument to give Japan possession. Korea doesn’t carry enough political clout to risk bringing this to international court. I wouldn’t either.

  • gbevers


    First of all, 1000 meters equals one kilometer; so if one “ri” was 420 meters, then that would be less than a half a kilometer, not “4 kilometers.”

    According to the Dokdo Museum (독도박물관), the 800 “ri” on the map describes the distance from the Korean mainland to Ulleungdo almost exactly. That means they would probably agree with my 0.17 “ri” calculation. Here is the link:


    Notice that even though the site claims that the distances are exact, it still claims that Usando, the island drawn right next to Ulleungdo, is Dokdo/Takeshima, which is actually 92 kilometers from Ulleungdo. Notice also that even though Taemado (Tsushima) is actually much closer to the Korean mainland (50 kilometers from Busan) than Dokdo/Takeshima is to Ulleungdo (92 kilometers, the map puts much more distance between the mainland and Taemado than it does between Ulleungdo and Usando, which Koreans claim is Dokdo/Takeshima.

    By the way, I think the map was printed in 1896. See this link:


    Your passage from the New Donga magazine is the perfect example of Koreans paraphrasing the old documents to avoid telling Koreans and the rest of the world exactly what the documents say. Notice how the Korean writer handled it.

    이규원은 출발에 앞서 4월7일 국왕을 알현하여 하직 인사를 올렸는데, 이 자리에서 국왕은 울릉도 동쪽 30리 정도에 ‘우산도(독도)’가 있고, 또 ‘송죽도(松竹島)’라는 섬도 있어서 섬이 세 개라는 설도 있으니 이것도 조사해 오도록 하고,….

    Before his departure, Lee Gyu-won had an audience with the King on April 7, where he offered his farewell greeting. At that time, the king said he had heard that there are three islands because there is also “Usando (Dokdo)” and “SongJukdo,” which is 30 ‘ri’ east of Ulleungdo. Investigate that and return.

    Notice that the writer only put “Usando” and “SongJukdo” in quotes, which means that that is the only thing that King Kojong actually said; All the rest is a paraphrase of their dialog. And, by the way, “Dokdo,” was not mentioned in the dialog. The writer does not mention that Lee Gyu-won corrected King Kojong’s misunderstanding by saying that Usando was another name for Dokdo and that Songjukdo was an island just off the coast of Ulleungdo. The writer also forgot to mention that Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong that there is only SongJukdo and no other islands named “Songdo” and “Jukdo.”

    The passage from that magazine is a perfect example of how Koreans lie, hide, and manipulate the facts to hide the truth about Dokdo.

    If you want to read what was actually said, you can find it on Page 6 of the following link: 이규원 하직&hl=ko&gl=kr&ct=clnk&cd=14

    The above version is not the one I originally read, but it is almost exactly the same, except for the last part. I do not know where it came from, but here is what this version says that the version I posted does not:

    When Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong that there was no Songdo or Jukdo east of Ulleungdo, King Kojong asked, “Did you, by chance, hear that from people who had inspected the island before?” Lee Gyu-won answered, “No, I have not met anyone who had inspected the island before. That is just the general information I received.”

    By the way, Frogmouth, if I were Korea, I wouldn’t take it to the International Court, either.

  • gbevers

    In my above post, I said the following:

    The writer does not mention that Lee Gyu-won corrected King Kojong’s misunderstanding by saying that Usando was another name for Dokdo….

    It should be corrected with “Usando was another name for Ulleungdo….”

  • Haisan

    Mr. Bevers – As others have pointed out, if you are really so concerned about the Dokdo issue, and really so convinced of your opinion, why not write an article for an academic journal? Nothing like professional peer review… much more useful than Marmot peer review.

  • gbevers


    Professional peer review? Who is reviewing all the crap that is being written about Dokdo/Takeshima by Korean historians? I would like to read just one historical paper or article that deals honestly with the issues. The only stuff that I have seen either pussyfoots around the issues or either lies about or manipulates the facts about them.

    Are Western historians really so clueless when it comes to Dokdo/Takeshima? Or do they just consider it a potato too hot to handle?

    I am not a historian, but professional peer review of articles dealing with Dokdo/Takeshima seems to be at about the same level that it is here on this blog. It sucks! When it comes to this blog, about the best review you can hope for is, “Well, I see you point, but I still think the Korean claims are stronger.” Of course, that person is usually too busy to explain why they think that way.

    It is very hard for some people to admit when they are wrong, including historians, and there are a lot of people out there, including many who frequent this blog, who have been wrong. The best you can hope for is to shoot down as many Korean lies as possible and hope that it silences those non-Koreans who were helping to spread them.

    By the way, I think the Marmot’s Hole probably has more readers than any historical journal, so I will stick around here for a while.

  • Haisan

    Mr. Bevers – And this is where we differ. I think the academic world has a lot more variety and depth than you give it credit for. Probably not in Korea (although even Korea has a greater variety of opinions, imho, than most give it credit for), but in Western universities that specialize in East Asia (Hawaii, UBC, Yale, Harvard, etc.) there are many serious historians who are not constrained by local politics and nationalism, and journals for like-minded scholars.

    Which is why I’ve never understood why someone such as yourself — who has some language ability and more than a little reason — has gotten on such a one-dimensional “Korean lies, Japan truthful” soapbox… a soapbox than more than a few Japanese historians would disagree with.

  • gbevers


    Maybe I am so distrustful of historians in general because is that I have lived in Korea too long and read too many of the lies and distortions by written Korean historians on Dokdo/Takeshima and other issues. For example, the person who wrote the above article for the New Donga magazine was a Seoul University History professor. If a professor from one of Korea’s top universities is going to hide and distort historical facts in the interest of nationalism, then who can one trust?

    And if historians at Hawaii, UBC, Yale, and Harvard have such a variety of opinion, why are they not refuting the distortions and questionable conclusions being made by Korean historians in regard to Dokdo/Takeshima? Are they refuting them, but in journals I do not have access to? And if Western historians are refuting them, then why does the Western media seem to just be parroting the lies and distortions that Korean historians are spreading? The whole thing just pissing me off.

  • gbevers


    I hope you can figure out what I just tried to say. I was trying to write it while also talking to a friend on the telephone.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry, here is a Korean timeline of the “ri” and what is has represented throughout history. But the map is a puzzle for sure. Does it set a precedent as to what a ri is? I dunno. Is there a nautical “ri”…….?
    태종실록 15년 12월 14일(1415년)) 이를 환산하면 1 里는 약 432 m 가 됩니다. 2. 고종황제께서 계실적에, 현대 도량형제도를 도입하여 光武 6년 10월 21일(1902년)에 제정한 도량형규칙이나 이후 光武 9년 3월21일(1905년)에 우리나라 법률 제1호로 제정된 도량형법에 의하면 1 里는 1386 尺(또는 2100 周尺)이고 1 尺은 30.303.. cm(10/33 m) 이며, 1 周尺은 20 cm (1 尺 = 10/33 m, 1 周尺 = 100/66 尺)이므로 1 里는 420 m 가 됩니다.(이때의 1 里를 周尺과 步로 환산하면 1 里= 350 步= 2100 周尺이다.) 3. 이후 1909년 9월 20일 제정된 일본식의 도량형법(도량형법 법률 제26호)에 의해 1 里는 12960 尺의 길이이고 尺값(10/33 m)을 고려하면 1 里는 3927.2727.. m 가 됩니다. 4. 해방 후에 계속 이 값을 사용해오다가 1960년 미터정의가 기존의 백금이리듐 미터원기에 새겨진 두 눈금 간의 길이로부터 크립톤 램프에서 나온 빛파장을 기준으로 하는 미터 값으로 바뀜에 따라, 우리나라에서도 1961년 5월 10일 계량법 제 615호를 제정하여 미터법으로 바꾸고, 1963년 12월 31일 까지는 기존에 사용하던 척관법을 그대로 인정하였읍니다. 5. 현재의 里값에 대한 고찰 오늘날의 년말에 제작하는 각종의 다이어리나 기타의 책자에서 사용하고 있는 도량형환산표의 里값을 살펴보면 1909년부터 사용하던 1 里= 3927.2727.. m 값을 사용하고 있음을 알수 있습니다. Bottom line, Gojong used about 400m.
    And we’ve already established by the survey of the size of Ulluengdo Leekyuwon used at least a 400 meter “ri”

    To support this the Korean 1694년 삼척청사 describes an island about one-third the size of Ulleugdo 300여리 away from Ulleungdo.

    On an interesting note the Korean online archives of the shillok they do not have the archives for the reign of Gojong. The quote the archives of this time are not accurate…so they say….. Maybe the Japanese changed the docs to Japanese “ri”?

    Gerry don’t paint Korea as the bad guy here. The Japanese Dokdo websites are just as crafty as the Koreans and so are you. When it comes to finding resources to bolster your argument you scour the archives of foreign universities but the Japanese maps you post are cut-and-pasted from what looks like a Japanese 4th grader’s book report. I have yet to see you post an accurate 19th century Japanese map.

  • frogmouth

    The answer to the old Korean map is this. If you look at this Japanese map you can see that the distance from Daemado to Pusan is listed as 48ri. We know that a Japanese ri is 10 times a Korean ri so the numbers match exactly.

    Click to zoom and you’ll see 48ri.

    This map confirms the 48ri. Click between Daemado and Pusan.

    The Korean term 水路 or in Korean 뱃길. This would best be translated as a shipping lane. The shipping lane from Daemado to Pusan is the same on both the Korean and highly accurate Japanese map, just different standards. There is no destination given in regard to the 800 Korean ri but I’d say Pusan or maybe Ulsan. The term 水路 is not meant to mean distance to land, but rather to port.

    After reading the link you gave (thanks for the link is was an interesting read) I can understand why the conversation is never posted in its entirety. It sounds like an Abbot and Castello routine. In summary of that conversation it’s apparent the information isn’t even second-hand but rather third. Leekyuwon hadn’t even talked to a person who had visited the area first hand.

    We have the 20~30 figure and have confirmed what a Korea ri and a Japanese ri are. It seems only the Japanese ri works.

  • gbevers


    Please post a link to a transcript, not a summary, of the 1694 document. As I have already shown here, Korean summaries of documents tend to be extremely misleading. Anyway, are you suggesting the mystery island mentioned in the 1694 document is Dokdo/Takeshima? If you are, then how do you explain the following?

    The mystery island in your 1694 document was 300 “ri,” from Ulleungdo, which would be about 126 kilometers, but, as you know, Dokdo is only 92 kilometers from Ulleungdo. Also, the mystery island is supposed to be one-third the size of Ulleungdo, which has an area of 73 square kilometers, but Dokdo/Takeshima has an area of only 0.18 square kilometers, which would mean that Dokdo/Takeshima is 1/400th the size of Ulleungdo, not 1/3.

    Yes, I have noticed that “The Annals of the Chosun Dynasty” site shows the records of all the kings, except those for King Kojong and King Sunjong, as if there is something in their records that they do not want people to see. The site claims that they do not show the records because that was a period that the Japanese supervised the compilation of the records. Apparently there are things in the records in the records that the Koreans do not like, maybe things that support Japanese claims. Here is a link to the site:


    And here is the Korean explanation for not including the records on the site.

    《고종실록》은 《순종실록》과 함께 일제침략기에 일본인들의 주관하여 편찬하였기 때문에 일반적으로 “조선왕조실록”에는 포함시키지 않는다.

    I would love to be able to have easy access to the records instead of having to read the one-sided summaries of Korean historians. If I were the type of person who believes in conspiracy theories, I might think that the Korean government is keeping from people to give them time to, aaaah, “make some corrects.”

    Supposedly, the name “Dokdo” was first mentioned in the Annals of King Kojong in 1881; however, I have not been able to find a copy of this record on the Internet, which seems more than a little fishy to me. I have a feeling that that record will say that Jukdo, the island right next to Ulleungdo, is also called “Dokdo,” just as Choe Nam-seon said in his 1946 book.

    Frogmouth, I do not understand what you are trying to say with your reference to the Japanese maps, but the Japanese map seems to be using modern nautical miles since Daemado (Tshushima) is about 48 kilometers from Busan.

    Yes, it is true that we do not know from which port on the mainland the 800 “ri” distance was referring to, but Donghae was probably the closest port. If it were Donghae, which is 161 kilometers from Ulleungdo, then one “ri” would calculate as 0.2 kilometers. And even if you chose Pohang, which is 217 kilometers from Ulleungdo, one “ri” would calculate as 0.27 kilometers. So, even if we used a 0.27 “ri” to calculate the 20 to 30 kilometers to SongJukdo, it would still be only from 5.4 to 8.1 kilometers, which works just fine.

    By the way, I do not remember seeing the last part of that conversation between King Kojong and Lee Gyu-won last year when I found the original Chinese-character record on the Internet. Unfortunately, I can no longer find that record on the Internet, and I lost the one that was on my computer, along with all my other records, a couple of weeks ago when a KT guy came to install my Internet at my new apartment. By the way, if you want a conspiracy theory, consider this:

    I have never had a problem with the computer I have now, and I was not having a problem with it just minutes before the KT internet guy came, but my computer suddenly froze up when the internet guy ran some KT software. And even though he tried to get Windows to load up again, he could not, so he told me I would have to reformat my hard disk and reinstall Windows. Anyway, not knowing how to get access to my data, and being a little impatient to get on the Internet, I reformated my computer and lost my data on Dokdo. That pissed me off and made wonder about that KT guy, because some of the stuff I found late year I cannot find now.

  • http://www.occidentalism.org shakuhachi

    Gerry, the KT guy lied to you about about the data recovery. It can be done. All you needed to do was make the drive a slave to the drive of another computer, and the data could have been recovered. Surely the KT guy knew this as well.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry no offence but are you O.K?
    The two cross referenced values I gave you confirm that Korean ri (about .4 meters) were used on the map. Stop making lame excuses and dreaming up imaginary measurements to support your seriously flawed theory because now you are starting to creep me out. First you say a ri is .17 and now
    .27……..Give it up.

    I gave you factual information of what a ri is. If you look in a Korean dictionary or history book you will see a ri is .4km If you do a check you will also see that a Japanese is 4kms. Every history book confirms this. Period.

    Now you say the KCIA is dressing up like KT service technicians and sabotaging you computer. The last KT “service tech” that installed my internet ran the cable out of the frickin’ window rather than drilling a hole.

    I believe Songjukdo is Japanese for Dokdo and the information in Leekyuwons discussion was second or third hand information from a Japanese person but still it shows the Koreans were aware of the islands. Throughout history we can verify the Japanese have had two names for Dokdo. One is Matsushima (松島), and the other is Takeshima (竹島) so it makes sense there would be a time when the island was being referred to by both names. The 20~30 ri Japanese ri fits like a glove as well.

    If you look at a 1899 Japanese map of Ulleungdo you can see the characters Jukdo, Ulleugdo and Usando but no Songdo on the island of Ulleungdo. In Japanese Songdo was never meant to mean any other island other than Dokdo.

  • frogmouth

    BTW there are many reasons why bamboo or pine don’t grow on these isles.

    The Japanese may have cleared away vegetation during the time it was used as a military observation post. It’s normal to clear away these areas to maintain a high profile and to deter suprise attack. The Japanese raped the forests of Korea during the peninsula’s occupation so to clear these rocks wouldn’t take a long weekend.

    The islands may have been cleared over the years by fishermen who frequented the areas using the trees for firewood boat repair etc. Anyone who had visited a national park knows the environmental strain repeated fires and careless land usage can have.

    Changes in climate may have also caused this. The names are hundreds of years old so I don’t think they are really representative of their true vegetation.

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  • gbevers

    Here is a link to some great pictures of Jukdo, just 4 kilometers off the coast of Ulleungdo. Guys, this is the island that has been causing all of the confusion. Jukdo (竹導 is the real “Dokdo,” not the Japanese island of Takeshima, which also uses the Chinese characters 竹島.


  • gbevers

    Woops! The Jukdo Chinese characters should be 竹島, not 竹導.

  • frogmouth

    At the time the Japanese gave Dokdo to Chosun the name of Liancourt was Songdo and all Japanese maps of this era prove that and so does the aforementioned document.

    Your theories rely on conjecture as to what islands Chosun was referring to in historical maps and documents. The best we can do is make logical conclusions based on the information we have.

    The last pictures say it all Gerry. There is no chance that island could be seen as being 8~12kms (20~30리) away you can practically chuck a rock at it. It’s now clear 20~30 Japanese ri were referring to Dokdo by Leekyuwon.

    BTW in the old Chosun map you referenced Busan is about 800 ri (320kms) from Ulleungdo.

  • gbevers


    The Korean argument begins with a super-duper leap in logic to create a false premise, which is that Usando is Dokdo/Takeshima. Koreans say that Dokdo/Takeshima has been their territory since 512 A.D., based on a passage in Samguksagi, which was written in 1145 A.D. The passage mentions a country called Usanguk, which was in the sea directly east of the Korean town of Myeongju. The passage goes on to say that another name for Usanguk is Ulleungdo and that its size was 100 sq. “ri.”

    So where did Koreans get the idea that Usanguk was Dokdo/Takeshima? Well, Koreans say that Usanguk was a country, and that a country would include surrounding islands, including a small rock island 92 kilometers away.

    There it is. That is the premise that Korea’s argument for Dokdo/Takeshima is based on. Koreans say that from then on, documents referring Usan was referring to Dokdo/Takeshima, even though maps and documents seem to prove otherwise.

    Now, 1882 was a big year because that was the year that all of the confusion was cleared up, and subsequent documents and maps only made it clearer. Look below to see what I mean:

    In 1882, Lee Gyu-won told King Kojong that Ulleungdo consisted of Ulleungdo and one small island beside it called Songjukdo. He also said that Usanguk was the old name for Ulleungdo and that Usan was it capital city. In the survey that followed Lee Gyu-won’s meeting with Kojong, Lee discovered that there were actually two islands right next to Ulleungdo called “Hangdo” and “Jukdo,” but said it was too dangerous to try to explore them. He also that he climbed to the top of the highest peak on the island and could see nothing but the vastness of the sea and sky.

    So, in 1882, Lee Gyu-won’s very thorough survey of Ulleungdo determined that there was only Ulleungdo and two islands right off its shore.

    In 1899, the Korean text, “Daehanjiji” said that the administrative district of Ulleung County extended east to 130 degrees, 35 minutes. (Note: Dokdo/Takeshima is farther east at 131 degrees, 55 minutes.) The text even included longitude and latitude lines that show Ulleungdo with “Usan” right beside it. Notice that, in 1899, Korea still did not know about Dokdo/Takeshima, or, at least, did not claim it. Here is a link to a blowup of the relevant section of the the map:


    In 1900, Korean Imperial Edict 41 changed the name of Ulleungdo to Uuldo and placed it and two islands named Jukdo and Seokdo (定고 區域은 鬱陵全島와 竹島石島)under the administration of Kangwon province. Lee Kyu-won had determined that there were two islands right next to Ulleungdo, including Jukdo, and the 1900 edict, amazingly enough, also mentioned Ulleungdo and two islands.

    In 1907, the Korean text, “The New Daehanjiji,” restated the the longitude boundry for Ulleungdo that was mentioned in the 1899 text, so it appears the 1900 edict did not include Dokdo/Takeshima afterall. By the way, I think it is interesting that the book mentioned that in 1906 Chosun had a population of 3.1 million men and 2.7 million women. See this link: http://www.papermuseum.co.kr/exhibition/exh17att01a.htm

    In 1946, in a book entitled, “Common Facts about Chosun,” Choe Seon-nam wrote that the eastern boundary of Korea extended east to 130 degrees, 56 minutes, 23 seconds, and that Korea’s eastern-most island was Jukdo, which was in the North Gyeongsan county of Ulleung. In parentheses next to Jukdo, he wrote the name “Dokdo.”

    In 1951, Dean Rusk, US Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs wrote the following:

    “As regards the island of Dokdo … this normally uninhabited rock formation was according to our information never treated as part of Korea and, since about 1905, has been under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands Branch Office of Shimane Prefecture of Japan. The island does not appear ever before to have been claimed by Korea.”

    Also, Korea’s 1900 edict said that Ulleung County was made up of “three islands” (Ulleungdo, Jukdo, & Seokdo). Today, Koreans say that Ulleung County is made up of “four islands”(Ulleungdo, Gwaneundo, Jukdo, & Dokdo). When was the fourth island incorporated? See this link: http://kr.dic.yahoo.com/search/enc/result.html?pk=16660200&p=︪&field=id&type=enc

    Finally, look at the folloing map again, Frogmouth. Does it really look like that 800 “ri” distance between Ulleungdo and the Korean mainland is referring to Busan? Even the line that is drawn between the Korean mainland and Daemado (Tsushima) is not pointing to Busan.


    Frogmouth, if by now I have not been able to convince you that Ulleungdo legally belongs to Japan, I do not think I will be able to convince you in the future. So this is probably my last response to you on this subject. Take care.

  • mahathir_fan

    The best way to resolve this issue is through the democratic process. Ask the people of Dokdo to vote in a referendum if they belong to korea or Japan.

    Since the people living on Dokdo are Korean military personels, democracy will most likely lead to Korea prevailing in this dispute.

  • dogbertt

    Now I see how it is you can consider China to have democratic elections.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry, I don’t support all information the Koreans spoonfeed us. However there is more than enough information readily available to prove the Shimane Prefecture inclusion was illegal and that Korea knew and used the isles before Japan annexed Dokdo.

    Let’s look again at the info you posted.
    1. The quote by Dean Rusk means nothing it simply states they didn’t have knowledge that Korea used the islands it is not meant as a quote to be used to dictate ownership. As I’ve said American ignorance about the region doesn’t resolve border disputes.

    2. The information given by Leekyuwon in no way clarifies which island was which. His information was second or third hand however we do come away with a concrete estimate of distance that being 20~30ri. Given our knowledge of both Korean and Japanese measurements at this time the only island that fits this distance is Dokdo at about 24 Japanese ri away.

    3 The 1946 book you harp on about is just a book. It is opinion not fact. It was also written by a man who has been found to be pro-Japanese thus it carries zero weight. He is not an elected official or representative of Korea.

    4. The 1899 Daehanjiji’s lines of longitude are incredibly inaccurate. In fact Ulleundo is off by almost a full degree so given the fact we know Ulleungdo is/was part of Chosun Korea we can’t use it for true geographical reference with regard to longitudinal position.

    Let’s look at Japan’s land claim for Dokdo.
    Japan says that Dokdo is Japanese land even though it was annexed during an era when Korea was a colony of Japan. No country was notified unlike other land claims in the region Japan had made.
    The 1870 documented I posted shows that Japan considered Songdo part of Chosun Korea and despite the fact you tried to change the argument you still haven’t managed to find historical evidence to dispute it. Scroll down.
    The maps of the time clarify what islands were being given to Chosun Korea

    This confirms that the Koreans knew of Dokdo and that the Shimane prefecture inclusion was not legal under the conditions needed to acquire land under the terra nullius land act.

    BTW the map you posted is hardly to scale. It certainly isn’t an exact representation of Korea however the line points a shade North of Busan and well south of Ulsan, that being about 800ri.

  • gbevers

    Frogmouth wrote: “And we’ve already established by the survey of the size of Ulluengdo Leekyuwon used at least a 400 meter ‘ri'”.

    Then Frogmouth wrote: “The information given by Leekyuwon in no way clarifies which island was which. His information was second or third hand however we do come away with a concrete estimate of distance that being 20~30ri. Given our knowledge of both Korean and Japanese measurements at this time the only island that fits this distance is Dokdo at about 24 Japanese ri away.”

    Gerry Writes: The above is one reason I do not want to debate this issue with you, anymore. You are not being sincere, and you keep changing your mind and ridiculous claims. If you would like to hear the truth about “Dokdo,” later I will post a link to a Web site I am making.

  • frogmouth

    Gerry, I meant to post 22 ri as I thought Dokdo was 97kms and not 87 kms At any rate it still fits within the estimate we know.

    I don’t need to make up fake “ri” measurements like you or that bogus Japanese site you keep linking to. If I’m wrong, correct me and I’ll admit it.

    This is a quote from the Japanese site you keep referring to. Is this your link?
    “우산도는 즉 울릉도()로, 우산은 옛날의 나라도시의 이름입니다”라고 하고 “송죽도()는 즉 한나의 작은섬이고, 서로의 거리가 10리(지금의 2Km에 상당)이며 그 산츨하는 것은 즉 단향과 간죽”이라고 대답하고 있다
    We know the actual transcripts of the conversation between Go-jong and Leekyuwon and you can read Korean so how much credibility do you think you have on this forum when you use this link as historical reference? This is far more blantant historical manipulation than I’ve seen on any Korean website.

    If you could support your theories with more credible evidence people might buy what your putting down. The fact is anyone with even a basic understanding of this dispute knows Japan’s claim is bogus.

  • frogmouth

    BTW Leekyuwon did use Korean Ri in his survey. However the 20~30 ri estimate was from the pre-survey interview and this information he received was second/third hand. I’m saying it’s highly plausible that the distance given was Japanese information because using Korean standards doesn’t work.

    Also the Songjukdo name could be expained because the Japanese called Dokdo both Jukdo and Songdo at one time or another……

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  • JK

    Wow, I do a search on Dokdo, and here is one among the MANY links that came up.

    I will state my own views and conclusions on this issue, even if this thread is, like, a year-and-a-half old.

    From the 1870s until 1945 Japan asserted control by force/took over countries and territories like Korea and parts of China. In the process the Japanese committed many acts of atrocities against the peoples in the territories they took.

    After Japan’s surrender in 1945, unlike when Germany got divided, Japan was able to keep all land that was essentially….Japan. In other words, it only lost territory it had taken from other countries prior to 1945. Japan should thank its lucky stars that Korea and China did not take any actual Japanese territory like Okinawa (now being used by the US) or even one of the main four islands. I personally would not have minded if Korea HAD taken an actual piece of Japan Proper (as opposed to Greater Japan). Heck, Korea would not have been wrong to take over the city of Tokyo after all the crap that Japan had done. After all, Japan took over countries and territories it shouldn’t have….and did some pretty awful sh*t in these places (read the memoirs of the founder of Singapore to hear his eyewitness accounts of what the Japanese did in his country).

    Now, if….IF Japan had had a greater historical claim to Dokdo (which it doesn’t), I personally (not speaking for Americans or Koreans…I am speaking for myself) would still say to Japan, “Tough sh*t….Dokdo belongs to Korea now. You all shouldn’t have done all your stupid sh*t from the 1870s to 1945. Be glad you have your four islands still intact.”

    But after hearing all the arguments, I say that Korea has a greater argument to Dokdo than does Japan. So in conclusion, like Russia took back the southern island of Sakhalin in 1945 that Japan took from Russia in 1905, Korea merely took back what Japan had taken from Korea in 1905. In other words, Korea took back Korean territory.

    But let me reiterate: EVEN IF Japan had as legitimate a claim to Dokdo as it does to the city of Tokyo….I still say to the Japanese, Tough sh*t about Dokdo; it belongs to Korea now!

    Okay, now that you know where I stand on this when I say that I support Korea’s claim to Dokdo no matter the historical argument (because Japan losing Dokdo, if it was indeed truly Japanese territory, is the LEAST it should have received as punishment from Korea), let me say that Frogmouth clearly has the better arguments for Korea having a more legitimate historical claim to Dokdo. If Frogmouth’s arguments sucked and gbevers’ were sound (neither of which is the case), I’d still say, Tough sh*t, Japan; Dokdo is Korean territory now and will remain so forever.

    But the fact remains that, based on what I’ve read on this thread and elsewhere, Frogmouth provides a MUCH better argument as to why Dokdo has always been historically Korean. Too bad; there is a part of me that says that after all the crap that Japan did between the 1870s to 1945 that the loss of one small tiny Japanese island is the LEAST that Japan should lose after all of its crimes. I almost WISH gbevers could show that Dokdo was actually Japan’s legitimately so that I could say to Japan, tough sh*t about the loss of your island, but you brought this on yourself. But gbevers has NOT presented any info – he’s only used biased views that are consistently against Korea and in support of Japan – to show Japan’s claim to Dokdo is greater. He lost to Frogmouth, and now I WISH it were the other way around so that Korea could thumb its nose at Japan and say, “Too bad! You took our country…we took your little tiny island!” Under those circumstances, I personally would tell Korea to KEEP the island even if it were legitimately Japan’s. But in actuality, all Korea took was a Korean island. Ho-hum.

    And the sad thing is that there are anti-Korean and right-wing Japanese nationalists who will continue to argue that Dokdo belongs to Japan till their blue in the face as if this will do any good. One even lost his job over it. AND FOR WHAT??????

    gbevers, if you could somehow use reasonable arguments and logic to convince me and everyone else that Dokdo was historically Japan’s, I personally would be very happy…..to know that Korea took Dokdo from Japan as a war reparation. But you’re failing on that end and lost the argument to Frogmouth….and this gives me no pleasure because it means that when Korea took Dokdo…..it merely took back its own island. Not much of a reparation from Japan after all the abuse it inflicted on Korea.

    Believe it or not, I want you to succeed, gbevers. Please use a CONVINCING argument without bias and without your usual habit of leaving out facts that show that Dokdo belongs to Japan….and I will be one happy camper to know that Korea currently owns Japanese territory. Right now, I get little pleasure out of knowing that Korea merely took…..Korean territory.

  • gbevers


    Before I give my arguments on the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute, could you first tell me where you stand on the issue? Do you support Korea’s claim or Japan’s?

  • JK

    Overall, I support Korea’s claim to Dokdo. As has been posted by Frogmouth MANY times at this blog and others, even Japanese maps show Dokdo as being Korean territory LONG before 1905. In 1905, Japan made a claim on Dokdo and forced Korea to agree to this. In 1910, Japan made a claim on the rest of Korea (as in the peninsula) and forced Korea to agree to this. What’s next? Will Japan then claim that the city of Seoul is also Japanese territory because of what happened in 1910? Surely you would disagree with THIS at least, gbevers. And I can assure you that the day Korea gives “back” Seoul to Japan is the day that Korea gives “back” Dokdo to Japan.

    But convince me otherwise. Then I will REALLY be a happy camper to know that Korea now possesses Japanese territory. :)

  • slim

    Please retire this subject or start a blog devoted to it that we can all avoid.

  • Sonagi

    “Please retire this subject or start a blog devoted to it that we can all avoid.”

    I second that with an addendum for the Sea of Peace.

  • JK

    Slim @97, if you don’t want to read something, don’t read it. Stick to the threads you prefer like about how Koreans are sooooo bad….or Japanese soooo good….or how Him Hye-Soo looks sooooo good….or how some church looks sooooo bad….or whatever. No one is forcing you to open this thread.

  • gbevers

    Slim & Sonagi,

    I find it odd that both of you claim not to be interested in “Dokdo,” yet both of you clicked on this tread, which is clearly marked with the word “Dokdo”? At any rate, neither of you have to worry. I do not plan to write about the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute here. I only responded to JK because I found his rambling post so childish and silly that I could not resist.

  • Hugh

    Loved this line from the post:
    “but the United States turned down the Korean request, believing it to run contrary to the principle of international law, which Washington was trying to support at the time.”

    Ah, what hath Cheney wrought!

  • gbevers

    By the way, JK, thanks for reminding people that the US recognized Japanese claims on Dokdo (Takeshima).

  • JK

    Well, gbevers, if that’s the case….according to the US view (which is NOT the view of most Americans) Korea just took Japanese territory….and neither the US NOR Japan did anything about it. Thanks for reminding ME of that, gbevers. :)

  • slim

    Before you guys (especially JK, in this case) soil yourselves further, I repeat my original plea: Please retire this subject or start a blog devoted to it that we can all avoid.

  • JK

    slim, thanks for keeping this thread alive with your latest comment.

    Now, go soil yourself with some interesting discussion about how Koreans ruined your life. Or discuss this on your own blog.

  • JK

    “I only responded to JK because I found his rambling post so childish and silly that I could not resist.”

    Hm, coming from a guy who tends to get personal and call people like Frogmouth, who uses sound arguments, facts, and logic as opposed to you, “childish” and “silly” and “goofball”, you’re really not one to talk.

    I mean, did Frogmouth or anyone else decide to get so intense about this topic with an anti-Korea vendetta….all while living and working in Korea? Nope. Only you.

  • john

    야! 독도 우리 거야! 일본 간나새끼들~
    no offense but japanese are full of lies. They dont know the fact that dokdo is not takishima and dokdo belongs to korea and will forever be the korean territory. The japanese goverment should agree with my opinion and should apoligize to the korean goverment!