• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Junior High School Version
Critical Thinking[Teacher Notes]
A large river flows between two countries. What would be the best way to determine the border?
1. When the border is determined using this method, what potential problems could arise between the two countries?
Write your thoughts in the space provided below.[Answer]
2. If there was a large island in this river and it belonged to Country A, what would be the best way to determine the border?[Answer]

Teacher Notes
The first goal of this chapter is to determine the boundaries between Korea and Japan. Of all the information in the chapter, the topic that generates the most interest is each country’s territorial area.
Although international boundaries are often portrayed in terms of geographic coordinate systems, roads, or other artificial means, natural landmarks such as mountains, rivers, and oceans are a good indicator of boundaries, too. Mountain ranges and valleys are distinct and easily identified with the naked eye, but rivers, lakes, and oceans can be difficult and disputes are common.
There are many instances in which two countries share a border line with a river in between. Principal examples are the United States and Mexico, and China and (North) Korea. When a river acts as a border, the center point equidistant from each bank is determined to be the border (Case A). Another method is to find the deepest points in between and connect them to create a border (Case B).
For oceans, a center line equidistant from each coastline is determined to be the border. Since Dokdo is Korean territory, the points at which the border is to be determined are Dokdo and the Oki Islands. Thus, each country’s territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone is to be between the two islands.
1. In the first case, if a flood caused the bank to recede or the bank was modified through artificial means, a border dispute could arise. In the latter case, a yearly flood could change the shape of the riverbed, causing an issue in which the border would have to be recalculated.
2. There are instances in which an island is in the middle of a river, and the border is determined accordingly depending upon the area. That is, the border is determined between the banks of the river and the island. Between these two different methods, only one is chosen to determine a border.
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