What is the meaning of Dokdo to Koreans?
First of all, Koreans consider Dokdo as a part of their body.
In fact, the island is proclaimed to be within the territory of the Korean government. As an administrative district, the actual address of Dokdo is 1-96 Dokdo-li, Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. Its exact location is 131 degrees 52 minutes of east longitude, and 37 degrees 14 minutes of north latitude. Dokdo is consisted of two main islands, the East island and the West island, and 89 small attached islands. Its total size is 182,453㎡.
Secondly, Dokdo is a part of Korea's history.
Records show that since the Shilla Dynasty, which existed in Korea about 1500 years ago, Dokdo belonged to Korea. Other historical documents of Korea, such as 'Samguksagi' and 'Sejongjirisillok', support this fact as well. This shows that Dokdo has been an island of Korea since ancient times, and also has been acknowledged so to the Korean people.
Thirdly, to the Korean people, Dokdo is their spiritual birthplace.
Dokdo captures its visitors' soul with its beautiful scenery made up with volcanic islands that were created in the ancient times. Furthermore, with rare sea birds such as fork-tailed petrel, Seum-se and black-tailed gull inhabiting in its islands, Dokdo is officially protected and designated as the natural monument No.336 by the Korean government.
Also, Dokdo is the symbol of pride in Koreans.
Using its geopolitical position of Dokdo and Ulleungdo, Japan attacked the Russia's Balt fleet, and won the war in 1905. Five years later, Japan occupied Korea by force and committed unspeakable atrocities upon the Korean people for 35 years. By the collapse of the Imperial Japan at the World War II, Korea became an independent nation, and Japan returned Korea's land to its rightful owner. However, failing to abandon its militaristic desire, Japan has been arguing its proprietary rights of Dokdo to this day.
To Koreans, Dokdo is a holy cross for peace. It is a symbol of peace that will stop colonialism and militarism from ever reviving again.
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