• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Junior High School Version

Chapter 1 Reference

1 Dokdo’s Location

Dokdo is located 87.4 kilometers (47.2 nautical miles) southwest of Ulleungdo, the nearest island. It is located 216.8 kilometers (117.1 nautical miles) east of Uljin County, North Geyongsang-do, which is the nearest land mass. The Oki Islands (隱岐) in Shimane Prefecture (島根) are the nearest Japanese territory to Dokdo, being 157.5 kilometers (85.0 nautical miles) away. A simple comparison of the distances from Ulleungdo and the Oki Islands shows that Dokdo is clearly Korean territory.
As Ulleungdo and Dokdo are near each other, Dokdo can be seen with the naked eye on a clear day. However, Dokdo is not visible from the Oki Islands.
Dongdo’s center coordinates are 131°52′10.4″ E, 37°14′26.8″ N, and Seodo’s center coordinates are 131°51′54.6″ E, 37°14′30.6″ N. The eastern limit for Dongdo is 131°52′22″ E.

2 The Origins of the Name Dokdo

In 1883, Ulleungdo was home to major development and many people from Gyeongsang-do and Jeolla-do began to move there. The new inhabitants of Ulleungdo began to call the rock islands to the east ‘Doksum’ in their regional dialect. “seok” (石) and “dok” (獨) were used to express the Korean word in written Chinese. “seok” (石) refers to ”rock/stone” and was used because it has the same definition in Chinese. “dok” (獨) was used because it has the same sound as the Korean word for ”rock” and “stone” in the Korean pronunciation of that Chinese character. The Great Han Empire declared in 1900 that ”The Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire” refers to ”Dokdo” as ”Seokdo” (石島). The maritime logbook for the Japanese warship Niitaka (新高) recorded on September 9, 1904, during the exploratory voyage to Dokdo to install a watchtower for monitoring the Russian fleet, that “Koreans (韓人) call it Dokdo (獨島).” This entry in the logbook was the first time the term “Dokdo” (獨島) appeared in official Japanese records, but the Korean Imperial Ordinance suggests that the term had already been in general use. Dokdo is commonly referred to as “Solitary Island” in popular songs and poems, but that definition is incorrect.

3 Dokdo’s Other Names → Refer to ‘Dokdo Map

4 Dokdo’s Address

After General Isabu conquered Usan and brought Dokdo under the rule of the Silla government, Dokdo was considered to be unified with the main peninsula. During the Goryeo period, Usan became part of Goryeo and was part of Gangwon-do until the end of the Joseon period. In 1900, “The Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire” declared that Ulleungdo be known as Uldo County and that Dokdo come under Ulleungdo’s jurisdiction. In 1914 Ulleungdo and Dokdo were absorbed into North Gyeongsang-do, and until 2000 had the street address of 42-76. In 2000 and again in 2005, Dokdo’s address was updated. On January 1, 2003, the Ministry of Information and Communication assigned Dokdo the postal code 799-805. With a new address system in effect from January 1, 2012, Dokdo was given two streets. “Dokdo Isabu St.” was added to Dongdo and “Dokdo An Yong-bok St.” was added to Seodo.

5 Dokdo’s Various Facilities

△ Various Facilities on Dongdo
Seodo features a residential building and a staircase on steep slopes. A natural water reservoir is opposite the resident housing building. In the past, fishermen used the reservoir as a source of drinking water. Dongdo has a dock that supports larger ships as well as a land marker that reads “Eastern End of Korea.” Visitors lacking permission to disembark are only allowed to stay on the marina. A well-maintained staircase allows an easy climb to the top of Dongdo. A two-stage ropeway that allows transport of various materials connects the dock to the peak. The eastern end features a pavilion, and a solar power facility can be found further up. Resident housing for the North Gyeongsang-do Police - Dokdo Guard is above the power station, and it features the Dokdo annex of the National Assembly Library. A panel in front of the housing reads “Korean Command” (韓國領), and a commemorative plaque for the former Prime Minister Han Seung-soo reads, “Dokdo, Our Land in the East Sea” (July 29, 2008). The peak is lined with six statues of guardians who died tragically while on duty. A communications facility, lighthouse, solar power equipment, automatic weather observation systems, helipad, and a stone relief of a Korean flag can all be found at the top of the island. Below Peninsula Rock is the old marina and remnants of the old staircase and concrete railing just above it. Security cameras are located throughout the island for remote monitoring. Currently, there are plans to install a Marine Research Station on the north side of Seodo.

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