Sunday, July 30, 2006

A blog , that I have linked on this site, GI Korea, wrote about the Dokdo Incident between Japan and Korea. Now it looks like the Dokdo museum has forged a document and said that it is real about past claims to these rocks.

What I found LOL funny was the fact that there is a Korean film called "(Hanbando): The Korean peninsula" claims that Japan produced a false document and almost went to war with Korea but at the last minute, Japan backed down, after Korea was proven correct. The blatant lies and forgeries of this issue, just keeps getting crazier and crazier.

In a way this really isn't surprising; here is another scandal that makes Korea look stupid in the eyes of the Japanese and anyone else in the world that follows this stupid Dokdo issue. The Dokdo Museum on Ulleongdo Island has apparently forged an old Korean map in order to make their point that Dokdo historically belongs to Korea. On the original map in question, the island of Usando, which Korea claims as being the ancient name of the Dokdo islets is shown located to the west of Ulleongdo and closer to the Korean mainland. The actual islets of Dokdo are located far to the southeast of Ulleongdo thus making the claim of Usando actually being Dokdo impossible. Usando is actuality is probably the originally name of Jukdo Island which lies just off the coast from Ulleongdo. However, the Dokdo Museum in their infinite wisdom doctored the originally map and moved Usando to the east of Ulleongdo Island to bolster their claim that Usando is in fact Dokdo.

When are the ultra-nationalists in Korea going to learn to stop their antics over Dokdo? The chopping off of fingers, eating Japanese flags, the Dokdo Riders, political pilgrimages to Dokdo, grandstanding, stabbing yourself in the gut, graffitting foreign cities, and now forging old maps does nothing to help Korea's cause to lay claim undisputed claim to the Dokdo Islets. These antics only make Korea look like some undeveloped third world country with unstable citizens. This stereotype gives the Japanese the moral high ground on this issue since they approach it in calm, deliberate manner.

The best thing Koreans could do is to just shut the hell up about the whole Dokdo issue. Korea physically owns the islands, with a ROK Coast Guard contingent stationed there, so what is Japan going to do about that? Dokdo is like the Israel of the East Sea. No matter how much the Japanese complain, the Koreans are not ever going to leave that rock and the Japanese know it. They are not going to go to war over the islets, so they are pulling a page out of the Islamic militant playbook of creating a very negative image of Koreans over this issue through the media which if a time comes where a diplomatic solution is being brokered for the islets the Japanese have a stronger hand due to their stereotyping of their opponent. What is even better for Japan is that they don't even have to try very hard to do it. The ultra-nationalists and the incompetent Korean government are more them willing to make themselves look stupid and ridiculous to the rest of the world in order to score some cheap political points back home domestically. All of this domestic demagoguery by the Korean nationalists and politicians only plays into Japanese hands and hurts any case the Koreans could possibly make to an international arbitrator over this issue if that time ever came.

If you want to learn more about the historical claims on each side of this issue make sure you check out these postings by the Flying Yangban and Gerry Bevers. Also check out the GI Korea Photo Archive which has recently uploaded photos from my trip to Ulleongdo as well as my Dokdo album. They are each very informative, but at the end of the day looking at all the evidence I don't think either side has a very strong historical claim to the islets. However, the Koreans were the last ones to occupy the islets and still maintain a presence there today. That is good enough reason for me to say let them have it, but could the ultra-nationalists and politicians in Korea at least shut up about it? Some how I just don't ever see that happening.

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