Gando & Baekdusan

Here, we can see a river, which forms the border between North Korea and China. This bridge, which is the major trade route between China and North Korea, symbolizes the fellowship of the two countries. As we rode on an excursion ship and neared the river of North Korea early in the morning, residents greeted us. North Korean soldiers, who are busy starting their daily work, are also near as if we can grip them.

The longest river in Korea is roughly 925km in length. This is the Amnokgang River. However, this river is known as ‘Yalujiang’ all over the world. ‘Amnokgang river’ has disappeared from the world map.

Not to mention Britannica Encyclopedia online of America, but even in the maps that were made by UN and other countries, we are unable to find the names of ‘Amnokgang River’ and ‘Dumangang river’ and Baekdu mountain. Their names are introduced to the world by the Chinese names ‘Yalu River’, ‘Tuman River’, and ‘Changbai Mountain’. ‘Yalu River’ is the Chinese description of ‘Amnokgang River’. However,’Tumen River’ is not the Chinese name for ‘Dumangang River’. Tumen river refers to Tomun river, not Dumangang River. Chinese intentionally mislabeled to distort Korea’s culture, history and justified illegal occupation of Gando which is clearly an act of aggression like they did to Tibetans.

The beginning of history dispute goes way back to Mt. Beakdu6 in 1712. On a monument on Baekdu Mountain, which was erected by China to conform the national boundary between China and Korea, it was said that ‘Amnokgang River’ and ‘Tomun River’ were the borders of two countries. If Tumen River is Toman River and the border is Dumangang River as China insists, boundary of Korea and China at that time should correspond with that of today. However, as we can see in all the European maps of that time, boundary definitely lays further north.

The map, which was made in 1749 by a French geographer, D’Anville, shows that national boundary formed further north than today’s Amnokgang River and Dumangang River. This also could found in the Kitchen’s map that was made at that time. These maps were manufactured by European geographers who saw this boundary issue from a neutral position with support and information from the Chinese government. 69 ancient European maps are made in that way. So far as in the boundary treaty made by China and North Korea in 1962, the boundary of China and North Korea. Clearly states that it passes over Tomun River, which is under Beakdu Mountain, and Dumangang River, which is 40km below Tomun river. By this fact, China is proving by itself that Dumangang River is not Tomun River.

1897, Korea appointed a Kamrisa(a government official) to protect the Joseon people in Gando. In the early 1900s, Gando was still a territory of Korea, and even when Korea became forcefully annexed to Japan, Korea was more than capable of ruling Gando. The Korean government was the de-facto ruler of the area and even declared that Koreans living in Gando were not obliged to pay taxes to the Qing government of China.

However, The Japanese government took away the diplomatic rights of Korea and in September of the year 1909, signed the “Gando Agreement” with the Qing dynasty of China, giving the Korean territory of Gando to China in exchange for the right to construct five Southern Manchuria railroads and the right to mine the Pusan coal-mine.

This crucial event gave China the right to exercise political control over Gando. The Japanese government, based on the “Eulsa Agreement”, the illegal treaty between Korea and japan, sold the territory of Joseon to benefit itself, making China the luckiest party because it obtained the territory of Gando. Even if the ‘Eulsa Agreement’ were valid, the Japanese merely had the right to “protect” Korea, not the diplomatic right to sign treaties. Therefore, the right to sign the Agreement was solely held by the Joseon government.

However, the Gando Agreement was made without the consent of Emperor Kojong of Korea. Therefore the agreement, according to international law, is void. China, which is currently the defacto ruler of Gando, is trying to justify its rule over the territory by not recognizing the Gando Agreement, which can always be declared void, but changed the name of the Dumangang River to the Tomun River, insisting on its rule over the area. To further justify its claims, the Chinese government is promoting the name, Tomun, to foreign nations for international acknowledgement. The Koreans controlled Northeast area China across the Duman and the Amnokgang River for several thousand years and this de-facto rule still exists today due to the Korean minorities(Joseon jok or Chaoxian zhu) living in the area today.

The Koreans are now trying to take back the Gando territory which has been illegally occupied by China and correct the distorted histories of Korea, China, and Japan. We want to let the world know that the falsely named river, Tumenjiang is like the distorted history of Tibet, an illegal attempt and threat to infringe upon Korea’s history and rightful territory. Baekdu Mountain, which the Koreans have held so dear and sacred for many decades, and the two Rivers, Amrok kang and Duman kang, are the rightful territories of Korea. We now introduce Baekdu Mountain, Amnokgang River and Dumangang River to the billion inhabitants of the globe.

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