Ieodo, whose territory is it?

Whose territory is this island?

Yushandao, China: 287 km
Marado, Korea: 147 km
This island is twice as close to one of the two countries than it is to the other.

Whose territory should it be?
One of the two countries has historical records and a legend about this island.

“A legend and folk songs about this island have been passed down through many generations in this country”
“People in Jejudo, a nearby Korean island, believed that missing sailors live there with angels.”

The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty and old maps show evidence that Jeju people developed sea routes and engaged in fishing activities around this island.

One of the two countries has clear historical records of this island.

Whose territory should it be?

One of the two countries suddenly started claiming sovereignty over this island in the 1990s.

However, the other country had already marked this island as its territory on a copperplate in 1951.

In 1987, it set up a buoy in the water around Ieodo, and publicized the news internationally.

In 2003, it established the Ieodo Ocean Research Station for ocean and weather observation.

Whose territory should it be?

The two countries in contention over the same island, Ieodo 
Korea and China

Closer distance
More historical records and a legend
Substantial research and effective usage of the island

All of these facts lead to one conclusion. Ieodo is a Korean territory.

Ieodo is known as an island of legend and mystery because it is usually underwater and only shows itself when there are big waves.

A rich fishing ground at the intersection of cold and warm currents
A repository of rich marine resources, including oil and gas 
A critical geopolitical location of Korea’s major transportation route

In 2003, Korea opened a research station on Ieodo to predict typhoons and benefit the Korean people.  This station will also help improve the management of ocean resources in the 21st century.

It is named “Ieodo Ocean Research Station”.

China also noticed the value of Ieodo and its surrounding oceans. In the 1990s, China started claiming ownership of Ieodo. In 2007, a Chinese government-affiliated organization attempted to indicate Ieodo as a Chinese territory. 

“Ieodo is under Chinese jurisdiction. It is part of China’s regular patrol areas for surveillance boats and airplanes.”
- Liu Cigui, Director of the State Oceanic Administration, China 
As another round of negotiations over exclusive economic zones (EEZ) is approaching, China is again creating tension.

China is provoking the uneasiness of the Korean people. 

It is threatening Korea’s sovereignty over Korean waters. 
It is attempting to expand its own territorial waters.
It is boasting about its growing national and military powers.

China is now building a Chinese-centered international order. Such attempts are creating tension and threatening peace in Northeast Asia. This is a sure sign of reviving Chinese imperialism. 

Young Koreans must take action to counter China’s political and militaristic ambitions. We should persuade the international community to support our effort to foster peace in Asia.

One of the first things we should do is promote the truth about Ieodo! We have already started our promotional effort, and persuaded the CIA to correct misinformation about Korea. The CIA provided information that could potentially be used to support China’s Northeast Project.

We asked for a correction of its descriptions of Korea’s ancient history.

“Korea was an independent kingdom for much of the past millennium”
- The CIA World Factbook 2007

This information was misleading, so we sent messages to the CIA asking for a correction. 

“The description could be interpreted to mean that Korea was not an independent kingdom before the past millennium.”

“It excludes Gojoseon and Goguryeo from Korea’s ancient history.”

In less than a month, the description was changed to “an independent Korean state has existed continuously for several millennia”.

Similar efforts have continued for over ten years. We managed to increase the use of the name “East Sea” on world maps from 3% to 29%. With the encouragement of such successful changes, we should now start promoting the truth about Ieodo.

China’s ambition toward Ieodo reflects the direction of its growing national power. We should let the world know that China is moving to threaten peace in Northeast Asia.

Fortunately, we have the tool of the Internet which connects people across the world.

Foreign friends and overseas Koreans
Foreign embassies and government entities 
And the social networking services (SNS) they use

Using all these channels, we should promote the truth about China’s imperialistic objectives toward Ieodo. 

Together, we will promote the truth about Ieodo. Our effort is not just to protect our waters. It is also to protect peace in Northeast Asia. VANK is looking for young Koreans who will promote Ieodo and our ocean. With us, you will establish peace in Northeast Asia.

A compass for the future of Asia,

We should use this compass to direct us toward peace in Asia. We should effectively counter China’s imperialism. Through our efforts, our ocean will function to control tension in Northeast Asia.

Both Koreans and the people of the world will benefit from our efforts. Our ocean will become a symbol of peace. Please join us to protect our ocean and peace in Asia!!

With us, you become a peacemaker in Asia.

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