South Korea’s Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Tae-sik said in an emergency news conference Thursday that Washington had made the notification to Seoul.
Lee said he received a call from Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffrey around 3 a.m. on Thursday, Korean time, conveying President George W. Bush’s decision to restore the status of the islets.
Lee said Bush ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to immediately take steps to reinstate labels describing Dokdo as Korean territory.
Lee said he raised the issue of fairness after the U.S. move to classify only the Dokdo islets as an area of “undesignated sovereignty.” He also emphasized to Washington that the U.S. must not leave the impression of siding with Japan on the islets issue at a time when Seoul and Tokyo are engaged in a territorial dispute.
Then I started to think… Bush is coming to Seoul on 6 Aug. He needs to defuse a minor issue to prevent a major protest. If he changes the wording back to “Dokdo”, it doesn’t change the US policy nor does it change the records on all the other organizations that have already affected change. It is a small price.
What does it gain:
- (1). By going back to the “status quo” on the Dokdo designation, the US is simply covering up a flap that could unseat the Ambassador to the US because the progressive activists are raising a stink of his “incompetence.” He saves the Korean Ambassador’s job — a man that is highly regarded by the US as pro-American in his outlook.
- (2). He defuses the Dokdo issue with the US that may upset his visit/summit with Lee on 6 Aug.
- (3). Bush doesn’t change anything in reality in the US. All he is doing is delaying any actions until a future date when all the heat goes away — in the NEXT administration. A while back, Dr. Barbara Tillett, chief of the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office, said, “…the discussion will be delayed until there is an enlightened international resolution and a decision by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.” Though the Korean media is claiming the US agrees that Dokdo is Korean territory, in fact, the changing of the label won’t change the US policy and the net effect is zero.
End result, the Koreans are jumping for joy on their “victory” to protect the sacred isle. OK…that’s cool.