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

1. Dokdo’s Location and Area

Objectives
Identify Dokdo’s location and understand its domain.
Understand Dokdo’s legal status and present condition.
 
Critical Thinking
Dokdo is located off the eastern coast of Korea. How is Dokdo related to Ulleungdo and Japan’s Oki Islands?
 

Dokdo’s Location and Surface Area

Dokdo’s Geographical Location
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Dokdo is considered to be part of the Korean Peninsula, and is located off the east coast. Dokdo is comprised of two large islands, Seodo (West Islet) and Dongdo (East Islet), as well as 89 smaller rock islets. 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 total area is 187,554 square meters. Seodo is 88,740 square meters, Dongdo is 73,297 square meters. The total surface area of the remaining minor islets is 25,517 square meters. Dongdo is 2.8 kilometers in circumference, and Seodo is 2.6 kilometers, for a combined total of 5.4 kilometers.
Seodo has the tallest peak at 168.5 meters above sea level; the peak on Dongdo is 98.6 meters. Seodo is larger and higher than Dongdo. The 330-meter long strait between the two isles varies in width from 110 meters to 160 meters, depending upon the tide.

Distance to Dokdo from other locations

OriginDistance (kilometers)
Ulleungdo87.4
Mukho Harbor243.8
Jukbyeon216.8
Pohang258.3
Busan348.4
Oki Islands157.5
Dokdo’s address is North Gyeongsang-do, Ulleung County, Ulleung-eup, Dokdo-ri and its postal code is 799-805. The addresses for the Dokdo guard tower, lighthouse, and residential building are as follows.
Dokdo’s lighthouse and mailbox
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· Dokdo guard tower: North Gyeongsang-do, Ulleung County, Ulleung-eup, 55 Dokdo Isabu St.
· Dokdo lighthouse: North Gyeongsang-do, Ulleung County, Ulleung-eup, 63 Dokdo Isabu St.
· Residential building: North Gyeongsang-do, Ulleung County, Ulleung-eup, 3 Dokdo An Yong-bok St.
 
Dokdo’s Topographical MapSource : National Geographic Information Institute
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Activity 1
Compare the distance to Dokdo from Ulleungdo and from the Oki Islands in Japan.
 

Dokdo’s Rock Islets

In addition to the two main islets, Seodo and Dongdo, Dokdo is comprised of 89 smaller rock islets. Korea has named about 20 of these rock islets and indicated their coordinates.
Ⓐ Elephant Rock, Ⓑ Independence Gate Rock, Ⓒ Peninsula Rock
Ⓓ Three Siblings Rock, Ⓔ Fan Rock, Ⓕ Tanggun Pillar
Source : National Geographic Information Institute
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Activity 2
Write the names of Dokdo’s islets in the spaces below.
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Figure
Dokdo’s Administration
Dokdo is Korean land (Agency: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport)

• Although Dokdo was designated the “Dokdo Natural Protected Area” (Natural Monument No. 336) according to Article 25 of the “Cultural Properties Protection Act,” the islets were restricted to the general public. Access by the general public has been allowed since March 24, 2005.
 ※ In November 1982, Dokdo was designated as Natural Monument No. 336 “Dokdo Algae Breeding Grounds” by the Cultural Heritage Administration of South Korea. The designation was changed to “Dokdo Natural Protected Area” in December 1999.
• The “Special Law on the Conservation of Ecosystems on Dokdo and Other Islands” (December 1997), the “Dokdo Sustainable Use Act” (May 2005), and other special laws have allowed Dokdo to be preserved and managed as a Natural Monument.
 

The significance of Dokdo’s visibility from Ulleungdo

A photograph taken from Seokpo Village in UlleungdoSource: Northeast Asian History Foundation
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Dokdo can be seen from Ulleungdo. However, Dokdo is not visible from the Oki Islands. On a clear day, Dokdo is visible from several areas, including the Ulleung Seokpo Observatory. The fact that Dokdo is visible from Ulleungdo is significant. Since Dokdo is visible from Ulleungdo, Ulleungdo residents have a long history of fishing near those grounds. This means that the Ulleungdo residents considered Dokdo to be a part of their living environment. During the territorial disputes between Korea and Japan in the seventeenth century, Japan hadinvestigated the distances from the two islands toKorea and Japan. As a result, the Japanese government admitted that the islands were in fact Korean territory.

How to Reach Dokdo

Typically, travel to Dokdo is completed via Ulleungdo, which can be reached from four locations: Pohang, Uljin (Hupohang), Ganreung, and Donghae (Mukhohang).
Travel to Ulleungdo takes from approximately two and one-half hours to three hours depending on the speed of the ferry.
It takes an additional 75 minutes to two hours to reach Dokdo from Ulleungdo. Weather can have a major impact on travel time. If the weather is fair, the ferry will dock at Dokdo for about 30 minutes. However, if weather conditions are poor, the ferry will not dock but only circle the islets.
Additional details about travel to Dokdo may be found at the Ulleung County website ( ). Although travel to Dokdo was restricted in the past, it is now simply a matter of purchasing a ferry ticket.
As an effort to strengthen patriotic feelings toward the islet and Dokdo’s status, Ulleung County issuesHonorary Dokdo ID cardsTo visitors to Dokdo.
Activity 3
Fill in the Dokdo administrative document.
Dokdo’s unique geological, geographical, and ecological characteristics give it conservation and academic value. Although Dokdo was designated as (  ) Natural Monument No. 336 and restricted to the general public, that restriction was lifted in (  ). Travel to the island is allowed with seven days prior notice in accordance with the Ulleung County ordinance.
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investigated the distances from the two islands to
This information appears in Takeshima Accompaniment Book, which Matsue domain presented to the Japanese shogunate. This historical source states that the distance from Fukuura (Oki) to Matsushima (Dokdo) is about 80 nautical miles, and about 40 nautical miles from Matsushima to Takeshima (Ulleungdo). This is approximately 157 kilometers and 79 kilometers, respectively.
Takeshima Accompaniment Book
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Honorary Dokdo ID cards
front and back
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