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Story of Dokdo

Defending meaningful island, Dokdo.. Koreans shall achieve it.

A shaggy dog, a dog indigenous to Korea, lives in Dokdo. It acts as a symbol of protecting Dokdo. Animals, however, are not the only ones. Since 1991, Seongdo Kim and his wife have been residing in the western island of Dokdo, making a living from fishing. In addition, public service personnel are on duty in the Dokdo Administration Office. These works have solidified Korea’s administrative sovereignty of Dokdo. Red mailbox in Dokdo lets us deliver Korean’s minds to everybody living in Dokdo.
Why are Koreans and Korean native dog staying in Dokdo? Why are they trying to survive in such a barren environment? It is because they love Dokdo. Dokdo has become an inhabited land due to people’s love and spirit to protect Dokdo. These feelings have become stronger when Japan tried to seize Dokdo and are delivered to the whole nation.
Even in 21st century, Japan’s desire has not subsided. Koreans are making an effort to protect Dokdo and to make sure that Dokdo takes place as an emblem of world peace, not of regional conflict zone.

War without a gunshot, Dokdo is in the center.

Quelpart, Mountain Oakland, Rose Island, Port Hamilton, and Dagelet Island: Do you know what these places designate? You may think that these geographical designations are for some western countries’ places, but you are wrong. Quelpart was Jeju Island; Mountain Oakland was Halla Mountain (highest mountain of South Korea located in Jeju island; it is commonly considered to be one of the three main mountains of South Korea); Rose Island was Wolmido (island located in Incheon, South Korea); Port Hamilton was Geomun-do (small group of islands in the Jeju Strait off the southern coast of the Korean peninsula); and Dagelet Isalnd was Ulleungdo. Clearly, Korean names exist for those places; but, those Korean lands were known as English names due to the despotism of the Western imperialism in early 20C. Although all those geographical names won back their original Korean names eventually, there is still one designation that hurts Korean’s feelings: Liancourt Rocks. It is an incorrect name for Dokdo, made up by the French whaler in late 19C.
Japan is publicly promoting Dokdo as Takeshima to the world. The reason Japan is bluntly raising an issue of Dokdo in spite of Korean people’s strong protest is probably just an expression of self-confidence that international recognition is already leaning toward Japan.

Dokdo has well preserved environment, it's breathing with us.

Waters off Dokdo provide a rich fishing ground for Korea. Sea areas around Dokdo are an intersection of Tsushmima Warm Current and the Liman Cold Current; seawaters of upper and lower sides are mixed vertically, creating a "Dokdo Effect", water temperature lower than surrounding areas. "Dokdo Effect" is responsible for abundant animal plankton, generating a habitat for various types of fish, such as a squid, salmon, trout, and saury, seaweeds and ear shells.
In addition, the whole island has been designated as a 336th natural monument for its ecological significance; about sixty types of plants and diverse kinds of birds live in Dokdo, creating an unique ecosystem. There used to be sea lions, very cute animals with white body and circular eyes, living in Dokdo. During the Japanese occupation, however, Japanese fishermen carelessly captured them in order to obtain their skin and oil. Now, there are no sea lions remaining in Dokdo.

Dokdo is not just a small island.

Showing completely different scenery according to the various angles and the way the sunlight is shed. Dokdo is a very old island, related to the formation of the East Sea. Dokdo is not only an island that accounts for externally numerical values, but also the summit of an enormous seamount over two-thousand meters.
Seawaters surrounding Dokdo have deep dark blue color, because Dokdo rose suddenly due to the volcanic eruption. Since instances when a seamount is exposed to the surface of the water are rare, Dokdo is one of the world’s geological remains where evolution process of a seamount is shown at a glance. It is also a rich repository of petrology.
More importantly, it is assumed that hydrate, natural gas of good quality, is plentifully buried deep in the sea area around Dokdo. If the technology develops and we succeed in its exploration, oceanic resources of Dokdo will be a valuable economic property for Korea. These economic prices of Dokdo account for Japan’s importunate demand for Dokdo.

Rescue island in a boundless ocean. Migratory birds and human both need Dokdo.

Dokdo acts as a rescue island for various types of birds. Dokdo is not only a site for several dozen kinds of birds, such as shearwater, stormy petrel, and a black-tailed gull, but also the only resting place for all sorts of migratory birds that come and go thousands of miles.
Birds are not the only ones. Can you imagine the joy of the boat that is lost in the East Sea where water is everywhere, when they discover Dokdo? It’s like they found a confirmation point in the long, empty sea. The lighthouse of Dokdo lights the dark sea as a coordinate and a shelter for the boat.

Dokdo can be seen from Korea’s territory only.

Dokdo's official address is Ulleung-eup, Ulleung County, Kyeong-sang-buk-do, South Korea. Located in the 131 degrees of east longitude and 37 degrees of north latitude, Dokdo consists of two main islands and 89 reefs, each named after their shapes and sizes. Two islands are the east island, rising 98 meters above the sea level and the west island, rising 169 meters above the sea level.
Dokdo is located southeast of Ulleungdo Island, 87.4km apart. It is such a close distance that people in Ulleungdo Island are able to see the whole Dokdo Island with the naked eye. On the other hand, the closest Japanese island from Dokdo is Oki Island of Shimane Prefecture. It is 157.5km away from Dokdo; due to its far distance, it is impossible to see Dokdo with the naked eye from Oki Island, even when the weather is clear. This proves that Dokdo is a friend of Ulleungdo Island and that Dokdo is Korean land.


Dokdo is in the eastern reaches of Korea territory. Though it is small, Dokdo is the most meaningful island for Koreans.