• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Elementary Student Version

2. The Importance of Dokdo’s Location

So Dokdo is located between Korea, Russia, and Japan!
Dokdo’s importance comes from its location.
Unlike the Yellow Sea and the South Sea, Ulleungdo and Dokdo are nearly the only islands in the East Sea. While the islands of the Yellow Sea and South Sea are close to the coast, Dokdo is far from any land. The East Sea is surrounded by Korea, Russia, and Japan. Dokdo is located in the middle of the East Sea.

○ Let’s examine the importance of Dokdo’s location in terms of the East Sea’s marine resources.

Among fish, some like cold water and some like warm water. The areas where warm and cold ocean water meet are full of plankton and fish.
A fish that likes cold water|A fish that likes warm water
Cod | Yellowtail
Pollack | Squid
The water surrounding Ulleungdo and Dokdo is an area where cold and warm ocean water meet

There are a lot of fish around Ulleungdo and Dokdo. This is because the water is clean, and plankton, which the fish eat, is plentiful. It is at this location where the cold water current from North Korea meets the warm water current from the East Sea.


■ Let’s examine the rich resources surrounding Dokdo.

It’s no wonder so many fish live here with such an ideal environment!
In the past, people said that there were many sea lions here.

○ Let’s examine the importance of Dokdo in relation to the development of hydrate gas in the East Sea.

In 2010, Korea’s number one and number two exports, semiconductors and ships, made profits similar to Korea’s imports of crude oil and natural gas, which are the country’s primary energy resources.

The amount of major product exports and energy imports in dollars for 2010

Main ExportsSemiconductors$51.5 billion$98.6 billion
Ships$47.1 billion
Major ImportsCrude Oil$68.7 billion$90.5 billion
Natural Gas$21.8 billion
There are large reserves of hydrate gas around Ulleungdo and Dokdo.Drilling point: The point where a deep hole is dug to explore underground resources or determine what the soil is like below ground level

The value of the East Sea’s hydrate gas reservesEstimated reserves|6 million tons
Lasting power| 30 years
Economic Value|150 trillion won
Since Dokdo’s surrounding waters contain hydrate gas reserves, Dokdo is very important economically, as well!
Hydrate gas taken from the seabed of the East Sea

Hydrate gas is a solid form of energy created when a natural gas called methane combines with cold water deep in the ocean. It is similar in shape to dry ice, and since it burns easily when touched by flame, it is known as “burning ice.” The entire world is working to develop hydrate gas as the energy of the next generation.

○ Let’s take a look at the importance of Dokdo through the East Sea’s lighthouse and its keeper.

Silla, Yeojin, Balhae, Ulleungdo, Dokdo
During the Three Kingdoms period, the waters around Dokdo served as a transport route for ships from Balhae and ships of Yeojin people to trade with other countries.
Today, the Dokdo lighthouse plays an important role in guiding passing ships.

Ulleungdo and Dokdo are both important militarily. South Korea built a communications base on Dokdo that can identify the location and movement of Russian, North Korean, and Japanese ships.


■ Let’s write about Dokdo’s importance based on what we have learned so far.

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