• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Junior High School Version
Critical Thinking[Teacher Notes]
Korea is home to more than 4,000 islands. Who are the keepers of these islands? Some islands are protected by the military while others are protected by police forces. What is the difference between the two?
(A) Marines on Baengnyeongdo
(B) Dokdo Guards
1. What is the significance of military and police defenses?[Answer]
Write your own thoughts.
In the case of (A):
In the case of (B):
Today, a small platoon of Dokdo Guards defends Dokdo. Dokdo’s coasts are under 24-hour surveillance using high-tech equipment in preparation for a possible invasion by outside forces. The island is equipped with communication facilities and is in contact with the Coast Guard, Marines, and the Air Force.
The following is an excerpt from the song “Dokdo Is Our Land.” Fill in the blanks with the correct phrases.[Teacher Notes][Answer]
In 512 (  ), the island in Usan, the third line of page 50 in The Annals of King Sejong Geographical Records Hawaii is American land, Daemado, I don’t know, Dokdo is Our Land
It is wrong to claim that “It is an island with no owner after the Russo-Japanese War Silla General (  ) is laughing in his grave, Dokdo is Our Land
General Isabu is responsible for annexing Usan for Silla. General Isabu is mentioned in the “Biographies” section of History of the Three Kingdoms.
Isabu was a fourth generation descendant of King Naemul of Silla. When Isabu was a coastal official during the reign of King Jijeung, a man named Geodo devised a plan to use Mahui to conquer Gaya.
In 512, Isabu became the monarch of Hassla (today’s Gangwon-do, Gangneung City) and planned to unify Usan. He considered the people of Usan foolish and stubborn, and since they would not willfully surrender, he tricked them into surrendering by using wooden lions aboard his ships. The people of Usan surrendered in fear.
History of the Three Kingdoms, Silla, vol. 4, King Jijeung, thirteenth year, sixth month.
“Dokdo Isabu St.” was added to Dongdo and “Dokdo An Yong-bok St.” was added to Seodo.
Since Dokdo was under the rule of Usan, Kim Isabu can be considered the first figure to have created the bond between the island and the mainland. For these reasons, his name was Joseon to represent the new street and address on Dokdo following the recommendation of many people.
An Yong-bok, Lee Gyu-won, and Sim Heung-taek are principal figures who protected Dokdo during the Joseon period. An Yong-bok, a fisherman in the Joseon period, twice went to Japan to argue Dokdo’s Korean sovereignty to the Japanese government. Lee Gyu-won was an inspector for Ulleungdo during the reign of King Gojong, and he filed reports to the government which led to the island’s management policies. Sim Heung-taek was the second governor of Ulleungdo, and he reported the Japanese colonization to the government. He was also the first person to officially use the name “Dokdo.”

An Yong-bok’s Activities[Teacher Notes]

1693, Ulleungdo
Wait, why are Japanese fishermen fishing in our grounds?
They were fishing around Dokdo not long ago.
This is Joseon land. Leave at once!
What the heck! Let’s capture him and take him to the Oki Islands!
Ulleungdo and Dokdo have long been Joseon land, and it is home to our livelihood.
Ouch, my head hurts. I should take this to the Imperial Regent of the Edo shogunate.
Ulleungdo and Dokdo are Joseon territory and Japanese fishermen are to be prohibited from fishing near the islands. -Imperial Regent-
Our Imperial Regent gave his command in writing.
Why do you speak Japanese so well?
I learned it while in the Navy, often visiting our government’s Embassy to Japan when these official s were in Busan en route to Edo.
Tsushima Island
Give me back my note!
We can’t just give up Ulleungdo and Dokdo!
We request that you ban fishermen from fishing near the Japanese territory of Jukdo
The Joseon government was not sure what to make of the An Yong-bok Incident.
The Imjin War just ended. … Let’s consider our diplomatic relations. …
Nonsense! We shall not lose our land to the Japanese.
Shogunate in Japan
Japanese fishermen banned from Ulleungdo and Dokdo, the twenty-eighth day of the first month of 1696
Ulleungdo and Dokdo are full of resources...
Japanese fishermen continued to trespass on Ulleungdo and Dokdo.
1696, Dokdo
I am the administrator of Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Leave Dokdo at once!
As the administrator of these islands, I strongly protest your actions.
Fine. I will submit a written statement to the shogunate stating that the two islands are Joseon territory.
Tsushima Island
If you continue to trespass, be prepared to face the consequences.
1697, Tongnae
As Ulleungdo and Dokdo are Joseon territory, we will never again trespass on the islands.
We agree to the terms and will report this to the shogunate.
Ulleungdo and Dokdo are Korean territory.
Joseon government
An Yong-bok blatantly crossed international borders without permission and should be put to death for his crimes.
His efforts toward protecting our territory cannot be ignored. Let us banish him to another land instead.
※ Note = Diplomatic document
※ Hoki Province = Tottori Prefecture

Teacher Notes
“Critical Thinking” introduces explanations of why Dokdo is guarded by police forces rather than by the military. This chapter deals with the importance of effectively controlling Dokdo and introduces information on the Dokdo Volunteer Guard.
In the case of (A):: Baengnyeongdo is a very dangerous area where the threat of North Korean provocation exists. The military protects critical areas where concerns of external aggression exist.
In the case of (B): : Regions considered relatively safe from external aggression are protected by police forces. Thus, police forces have been dispatched to defend Ulleungdo and Dokdo. This may help block Japan’s intentions to create international disputes.
The Dokdo Volunteer Guards of the Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency that currently defends Dokdo has roots that date back to protection activities from July 1953. On June 27, 1996, the Dokdo Guards of the Ulleung Police Agency and the Ulleungdo 318 Special Forces were combined to form the Dokdo Guards within the Ulleung Guards, and they were placed under the command of the Ulleung Police Chief. Dokdo is currently protected by the Ulleungdo Dokdo Coast Guard (UDCG).
Teacher Notes
Central figures of Dokdo’s history are introduced in the song “Dokdo Is Our Land,” and the islet’s history is discovered through the lyrics. Elaborate on General Isabu’s strategy and Dokdo’s street address.
Dokdo’s streets were named after considering more than 26,000 different suggestions from Korean citizens. “Dokdo Isabu St.” was added to Dongdo and “Dokdo An Yong-bok St.” was added to Seodo.
Jijeung, Isabu
Teacher Notes
An Yong-bok’s story is presented as a comic strip. Korea’s consistent management of Ulleungdo and Dokdo is compared and contrasted with Japan’s flip-flopping stance. Although An was not recognized for his activities during his life, this chapter describes how he was viewed later.
Yi Ik, a Joseon-period scholar, stated, “An Yong-bok is a hero. He fought valiantly for his country despite the possibility of death, and rather than reward him for his actions, the government banished him to a distant land. Is this not a shame?” Yun Haeng-im, who was a high-ranking official during the Joseon period, praised An’s actions, stating, “While the government wanted to relinquish Ulleungdo to Japan, one sailor, despite it not being his responsibility or having being commanded, took matters upon himself in the face of death to protect Ulleungdo. Just how brave were his actions?”
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