Documenting Dokdo: 10 Questions with Matthew Koshmrl

Do you know Dokdo?

If you’ve ever spoken to one of the locals in South Korea, chances are you will have been asked that very question. In case you don’t know what Dokdo is I’ll explain it very briefly: It’s an island that both Japan and South Korea lay claim to. It floats about in the Sea of Japan, which Korea would like to be called the ‘East Sea’. Technically the uninhabited island is Korean territory, but the Japanese – who called it Takeshima – occasionally reassert it has always belonged to them even before the colonisation of Korea.

UP Student Bags Silver in Dokdo Essay Contest



It’s come to the point where I can predict the answers to most of the questions I ask in my conversation classes. “What’s your favorite kind of music?” “Balla-duh.” “Who’s your favorite actor?” “Won Bin.” “Why do you like him?” “He is so sexy.” “What do you like doing?” “I like sleeping.” “What are your plans for this weekend?” “I’m going to a cafe to talk with my friends.” “What’s your favorite kind of coffee?” “I like Americano.” “Why?” “It is very delicious.” And on and on.

Nixon Went To China, And Lee Went To Dokdo

Let me say one thing before I begin: this post is not going to be a tired rehashing of the Dokdo issue. The newspaper of record just published an article on Lee Myung-bak’s recent wag-the-dog visit to the islands, while the Dokdo Times, as usual, has summarized the event perfectly:

Japanese-born President Lee Myung-bak made the first ever visit by a South Korean leader to the Korean Dokdo Islands today, in an unprecedented trip that unmistakably proves Seoul’s sovereignty over the territory.

14-Year-Old Jonathan Lee Is Dokdo’s Newest Ambassador

Korea Business Talk - July 30, 2011

57:08 minutes (26.16 MB)
Korea Business Talk #2
July 30, 2011

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Participants:  Jeff Lebow,  Joshua DaviesHyungsik YoonAdam H Cave

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Sunrise to Japan and Other Thoughts

Sunrise, Ulleungdo


Japan set to renounce claims to Dokdo

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Although an unanticipated move, a source from within the Japanese government says Japan will relinquish its claim to Dokdo at a press conference on Friday. The source, who remains anonymous because they are not authorized to speak to the media, has said “Japan will be in a rebuilding mode after the 9.0 earthquake and the issues with the nuclear reactors.” The source added that “while Takeshima remains an important strategic point in northeast Asia, we can’t sustain our desire to expand while our key infrastructure must be rebuilt.”

Placating Fools in Japan this the price Japan’s PM Naoto Kan has to pay to overhaul Japan’s entitlements programs and combat the conservative farming lobbies?

Destination: Dokdo Museum (Ulleungdo)

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