ROK Drop

Avatar of KalaniBy on July 31st, 2008 at 12:38 pm

WTF — US Supporting Korean Position on Dokdo???

» by in: Dokdo Madness

When I first read the headlines, I was incensed.  How could the US violate its 50 year-old policy simply by Bush saying so?  I was outraged. 

The White House has officially notified the government in Seoul of its intentions to reinstate labels defining the Dokdo islets as Korean territory.

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.


Tags: ,
  • victory my arse
    2:18 pm on July 31st, 2008 1


  • victory my arse
    4:14 pm on July 31st, 2008 2


  • Dokdo Golf | Japan Probe
    7:41 pm on July 31st, 2008 3

    [...] to South Koreans ahead of Bush’s visit to their country next week, and it might succeed in reducing the amount of protests during his [...]

  • Benicio974
    7:11 am on July 31st, 2008 4

    Yes, it does make sense, for the time being, as the real US stance does not change at all.

    However, I'm mad that Koreans will view this as a 'victory'.

    I was rather enjoying, for a day at least, the schadenfreude of Koreans feeling "betrayed" over the renaming and 'undesignated sovereignty' status. It was an excellent chance for Korea to learn that you reap what you sew. They won't now!

    They really, really, really need to learn this lesson!

    Something tells me that no matter who is in the White House next year, policies are gonna change.

  • Benicio974
    8:03 am on July 31st, 2008 5

    #2 They hate us so much, yet they so desperately want our approval!

    We are the popular kid school, but we may not be the nicest to everyone. They are the loner, nerd with no social skills.

    Well, they got their approval this time and they are counting it as a "victory"!

    PS- a little socio-political lesson: sometimes just paying a little lip service is all you need!

  • Rob
    8:22 am on July 31st, 2008 6

    Sheer brilliance if you ask me. And it appears that this has been in the works ever since the Dokdo issue suspiciously reared its ugly head at the peak of anti-American beef protests a few weeks back. Coincidence? Eh, no…

  • victory my arse
    9:14 am on July 31st, 2008 7


  • Avatar of KalaniKalani
    9:41 am on July 31st, 2008 8

    Victory My Arse,

    Hi — I'm the retard that posted this … not GI Korea. You're right the Koreans radicals catch on fast. But they aren't the target group for the "victory" campaign. They never were… But you're a smart kid, you can figure out who they are.

    "Why is it that your ‘views’ on the way koreans think so much differs from what is actually written by the korean netizens all over the net?"

    My views are so different from what is actually written on the net is that (1) I'm a retard as you pointed out; and (2) I'm an American; and (3) I don't really give a damn what the Mickey Mouse Club says on the internet as they run screaming "The sky is falling…mad cow will kill us…Dokdo is ours…"

    I'm just an old man with nothing better to do with his time.

  • Benicio974
    9:45 am on July 31st, 2008 9

    Amen Kalani!

  • In Seoul
    10:17 am on July 31st, 2008 10


    “What victory? Koreans think of bush’s lip service before he makes his final visit to South Korea is a victory? This is one of a million reasons why GI Korea has a brain of a half-dead chimpanzee.”

    Are insults any replacement for sound reasoning and intelligent discourse?

    “Why is it that your ‘views’ on the way Koreans think differ so much from what is actually written by the Korean netizens all over the net?”

    Young [left leaning?] Korean netizens do not represent all Koreans. How do I know? I’m married to a Korean!

  • Avatar of KalaniKalani
    10:53 am on July 31st, 2008 11


    I don't mind being the target of invective if it stimulates discusson on the issue. I don't know what Victory My Arse said in some of the deleted posts, but if it was racist or personal then it needed to be deleted.

    However, what Victory My Arse was saying was true about SOME Koreans on the internet feeling that Bush's words were a trick — but they would have said the same about anything he said as their minds were closed years ago and their ears stopped up. They only hear what they want to hear.

    What he didn't seem to want to recognize was that the CONSERVATIVE newspapers and CONSERVATIVE government were targeting the MODERATE populace — the majority of Koreans — with their "victory" campaign where LMB comes off looking like he TOLD Bush what he wanted and Bush said "yes." This is a PR campaign to enhance their image. It was just like Han Seung-soo saying what the Japanese thought of him visiting Dokdo was not worth commenting on. It was nothing, but the press played it up like it was something.

    But the point I want to add is that though Victory My Arse's perspectives may have been radically different from mine that doesn't mean that his opinions are not just as valid as mine. We just see the same thing from different perspectives.

    I hope Victory My Arse returns and that we can discuss the issues and perhaps I can gain new insights from what he has to say. You don't learn new things by talking to the same old people with the same old ideas. I am getting crotchety but hopefully I will never be too old to accept new ideas — if they make sense to me.

  • Kyu
    11:15 am on July 31st, 2008 12


    I don't up understand your stake in this issue. How are you effected by this measure and why do you find it necessary to post a remark regarding this issue?

    When reading your post, I find myself confused and interested in your intention and your motive for posting such a remark due to your "anti-Korean" undertone. So the Koreans feel some relief due to constant badgering by the Japanese government and nationalist to give up territory which was historically Korean due to a treaty signed while Korean foreign policy was controlled by Japanese colonism.

    I find myself curiously wondering your intention of posting this message and would like an explanation.


  • Avatar of KalaniKalani
    12:45 pm on July 31st, 2008 13

    It started with my outrage that the KOREANS had the audacity to seek to manipulate an AMERICAN government institution — the US Library of Congress. The American had stated in 1952 that the AMERICAN policy was that AMERICA would be neutral in the dealings of Liancourt Rocks/Takeshima'Dokdo.

    My indignity is as an AMERICAN I find it insulting that a foreign government and foreign nationals would attempt to manipulate my government to play their games to substantiate their claims to the disputed islet. The changing of designation of "Dokdo" to "Liancourt Rocks" is a logical action to reflect the neutral status of the US for the past 50 years.

    To an average American in Toledo, Ohio the subject of Dokdo would solicit the response — "Dokdo what?" The sovereignty of Dokdo is not important and the average American could care less.

    However, the interference of a foreign government or foreign nationals in dictating the actions that deal with the operations of the U.S. Library of Congress and U.S. Board on Geographic Names does.

    The "anti-Korean" undertone is because I am an AMERICAN who was insulted that this occurred. I wrote to the Library of Congress as an AMERICAN and encouraged others to do so as well.

    That is my point.

    When the President gave up on the minor point on the BGN, I was initially outraged, but then I came to see why. Now I can agree to why he did it — and because it amounts to nothing more than a clerical delay — I can live with it.

    Now that I have answered your question, please answer mine.

    What is your opinion on a foreign government and foreign nationals interfering in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation?

  • King Baeksu
    1:28 pm on July 31st, 2008 14

    The irony here is that the name "Liancourt Rocks" is actually OLDER than the Korean name Dokdo! Liancourt dates from 1849, whereas from my understanding the name Dokdo was not in usage until several decades later. So there is actually the issue of precedence here, at least in the English language, unless some Korean nationalists here care to prove me wrong?

  • Rob
    2:34 pm on July 31st, 2008 15

    I hear what you're saying Kalani, but you do realize that the United States, through military power, political power, economic power, etc., manipulates other governments all the time, don't you? Why is it so wrong for Koreans to try to manipulate the American government when their interests are at stake? To me, that's just the way the game is played.

    As I stated in another post recently, countries have interests, not friends, and a friend or foe designation can and will change as interests change.

  • Dr.Yu
    4:21 pm on July 31st, 2008 16


    Many countries "manipulate" USA. Israel for instance.

    But it is not actually manipulation, but every time the USA take a position on international matter it is for its own benefit (Korea does the same). You are an old person, so you know that that’s how international policy is done.

    Finally, do you really believe that Korea has such a power to manipulate the USA? Look at the beef issue. Thousand of Koreans rallied against it, but LMB had to accept the deal (I’m not trying to resume the beef issue here. I’m sick of it).

  • Avatar of KalaniKalani
    4:39 pm on July 31st, 2008 17

    I understand the mechanics of geo-political, geo-economic, and all the other -isms that make the world go round. I know why the USFK remains and USFJ is drawing down. I'm old enough to have seen multiple "show-the-flag" and "show of force" and all the other show-isms to influence governments and people. But this is not the same. What you're talking about is the manifestations of the exertion of POWER to achieve a goal to support a national interest.

    But what I'm talking about is Korea manipulating the mechanics and internal affairs of American government to achieve a specific purpose. This latest episode was wrong. They directly interfered with the operations of a US Federal institution. Why do you think there was so much hurry to give credit to the Canadian librarian and others — when it was the unregistered lobbies that did it. I don't want to make a federal case out of it — and I don't think the Koreans do either.

    Yes, Koreans have been buying off politicians — like the first Korean Congressman — for a long time for their special interests — and proved by convictions of major Korean companies since the 1990s. They know how the system works — and they have abused it enough times to know what is right and wrong.

    It's ok to get special deals and compensation for your companies, etc. etc. etc., but you don't mess with the internal affairs of government. That's a no-no.

  • Gaetano Calabresi
    5:22 pm on July 31st, 2008 18

    Per Kalani:

    "It’s ok to get special deals and compensation for your companies, etc. etc. etc., but you don’t mess with the internal affairs of government. That’s a no-no."

    Let me ask Kalani, by taking on your righteous stance, are you meaning to suggest that the US doesn't have it's fingers in the pies of other foreign governemnts?

    Sorry, but your statement is the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Kyu
    7:53 pm on July 31st, 2008 19


    I can see why you would be upset at foreign involvement in matters that you see as domestic but I must also add that as of now, the US seems to think we are the police and the judge of the world and you can not deny the influence and power the US has around the world with what we write and publish. Yes the US has a neutral stance in the matter but changing the wording now after the whole uproar of Japan adding Dokdo as part of their territory in their middle grade history text books (I might be wrong which history book it was) seems to be more than just taking a neutral stance.

    I've lived in the US for 90% of my life and believe that the US should stay out of foreign domestic affairs similiarly other countries should do the same but time and time again that isn't the case.

    Please take a look at….

    Kalani (btw I love that name) have you ever thought that the Korean government is just reacting to lobbist efforts from Japan to encourage the change of the description of the islets?

  • Brian
    10:31 pm on July 31st, 2008 20

    Perhaps it was the sensible thing for the US to do, but as an American I really hate seeing the big, bad US get smacked around by the ROK so often. I mean, with the 2002 protests and riots, then with this beef stuff, the death of the KORUS FTA, and now—appearing to at least—giving in to the Korean side. I'd love to see some accountability . . . but I guess that lust for justice is why I'm not a diplomat.

  • Rob
    10:43 pm on July 31st, 2008 21

    I understand your feelings Brian because mine are the same, but thankfully for us the United States has some extremely professional diplomats who are well versed at this game and not driven by raw emotion. For the most part, they do an outstanding job and we should be thankful that twe have them.

    And I still see nothing wrong with what Korea did. It's what nation states do, look out for their own interests. No biggie… We do the same thing all the time.

  • Avatar of KalaniKalani
    10:59 pm on July 31st, 2008 22

    Thanks for the link. Besides a few historical typos, it is a good article. Read the reasoning for use of the Palmas and Clipperton precedents and can see that the Japanese could also use similar arguments. Also I wonder why he never mentioned the original reason the Japanese wanted the islets in the first place — the undersea telegraph lines for the military. This could substantiate a claim of "Occupation" for the Japanese case. Another point I wonder why he didn't mention, when talking of the UNCLOS and EEZs and 200 mile limits, the fact that if one looks at the undersea topographical map of the islet, Dokdo sits on the Japanese "shelf" while Ulleungdo sits on the Korean "shelf" with the deep sea channel running between. This could be a decision factor.

    As I have stated elsewhere, I have emotional reasons for wanting Korea to retain control of Dokdo, however, I feel that Korea has a weak case. Even the article you referenced stated that ASSUMING that Korea has historical proof that it discovered Dokdo, it had a strong case — meaning if it didn't, it was up sh_t creek.

    I think the ROK has NOT done a good job and wasted a lot of time in the Roh era. This is why I applaud Lee Myeong-bak taking the "long view" and starting work on getting indisputable historical documentation.

    In conjunction with this, I support the US in keeping neutral in this heated topic between two allies — as being dragged into the mess is a lose-lose situation.

    Though I think that the ROK has done a poor job in building its case, I'm not an expert and I say only the World Courts (ICJ) can decide. At this point in time, the ROK can just stand tight and it will not be dragged into the ICJ. However, some time in the distant future, the ROK may get boxed in internationally and a unilateral claim may be submitted — but this is still years away.

    As to your question, I truly believe that the ROK has been reacting with bluff and bluster — along with constantly posting "new discoveries" in the media by "hobbyists" — because they have a weak case and know it. Roh did nothing — and LMB at least is going to push for solid scholarly research. Again this is just my opinion.

    I don't think the Japanese have been doing so much lobbying worldwide as the ROK claims. I think the world is simply getting fed up with the Korean yammering so much about the subject and trying to push THEIR demands on others in the scientific, historical, cartographical, etc. worlds — and in on-line encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. The ROK nationalists have done the Japanese lobbying for them. The Japanese on the other hand have just been steady and methodical in building their case internationally. Not lobbying.

  • squatch
    3:43 am on August 1st, 2008 23


    If the Koreans have not been able to muster any substantial evidence since its occupation of the islands since 1954, I would seriously doubt any "serious" research will reveal otherwise. It's been more than 50 years. Good lord the Japanese aren't really up to it when it comes to the Liancourts.


    "Japanese lobbying" is one of the myths I see coming from the Korean side. The fact is, Japan hasn't been much enthusiastic in reclaiming the Liancourts. I'm pretty sure you're not ready to believe any of what I'm saying, but that's been the situation for quite a while.

  • Kyu
    3:58 am on August 1st, 2008 24


    The Japanese government decided to claim ownership of the islets in a middle school teaching guidance earlier this month, reigniting the row over the issue. –

    The Japanese government will make a final decision on whether new teaching guidelines for secondary schools will state Japan's claim to Korea’s Dokdo islets. The issue is capable of shaking bilateral relations, which the leaders of the two countries have pledged to improve, to the core. –

    The latter was on July 7 2008. I'm pretty sure you will argue with me on this point that Japan is taking actions to claim Dokdo as their own and I would strongly argue that lobbying to get this done in other countries might help their cause.

    On the note of there not being evidence of Korean sovereignty over the Dokdo islets I would have to disagree and note that in historical documents and maps from both Korea and Japan, Dokdo has always been part of Korea.

    I'm really over this whole ordeal. Moving on to the next topic…

  • R.W.
    4:00 am on August 1st, 2008 25

    We just love to kick Japan in the teeth, don't we? Abductee issue, now this. Our only policy on the Liancourt Rocks should be neutrality. It's none of our damned business, but of course we have to stick our nose where it doesn't belong because for some reason ever since WWII we think we have to regulate the affairs of every other nation in the world. Dammit I wish we could return to isolationism.

  • Kyu
    4:33 am on August 1st, 2008 26

    Why would you take it as kicking Japan in the teeth when Korea was denied the territory in the BGN report…

  • Lifile
    4:55 am on August 1st, 2008 27


    >On the note of there not being evidence of Korean sovereignty over the >Dokdo islets I would have to disagree and note that in historical >documents and maps from both Korea and Japan, Dokdo has always been >part of Korea.

    What makes you believe that Dokdo has always been part of Korea when there is no Korean old map with the name ” Dokdo(??)” on it as Korean territory??

    Korea claims “Usando” in old maps is Dokdo. But the old Korean document “Records of King Taejong” states there were 15 houses and 86 people lived in Usando. If Usando really were “Dokdo”, can you explain how 86 people could live in those tiny rocks?

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    4:56 am on August 1st, 2008 28

    Kalani, great posting and if Lee came up with this idea then he is quickly learning how to play the political game in Korea instead of trying to be a CEO which gave the leftist groups in Korea the lifeline they needed to bash him over the US beef deal.

    As far as Dokdo I believe the US should remain neutral on this issue.

    Also I believe everyone would have to agree there is no way Japan is ever going to take possession of those islands. Korea's historical evidence is flimsy and the fake evidence that keeps popping up only undermines their claim to the islands. However, the historical evidence in my opinion means little because the Koreans are never going to give up Dokdo.

    It would be political suicide for any Korean President to give up the islets and heck I wouldn't be surprised if it led to a military coup to stop the hand over of the islands. I have been to Dokdo and seen personally the deep emotional attachment Koreans have to those two rocks and they are never going to give them up.

    I'm sure Japan understands this, so why do they keep bringing up the issue? It is because of fishing rights. The people in Shimane prefecture have been pissed off about Korean fishermen encroaching into their waters but they can't go into the Korean waters around Dokdo thus they passed the Takeshima Day pronouncement to raise awareness of the issue in Japan.

    The reaction by the Korean nationalists played right into the hands of the people in Shimane prefecture behind this issue.

    I think that the Japanese government is pushing this issue again now because they may feel Lee is someone they can get a long term fishing treaty worked out with.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • Kyu
    5:00 am on August 1st, 2008 29


    I'm too lazy to do my research on the matter of 86 people living on Usando. Please verify your source.

    GI Korea:

    Agreed… lets see what happens

  • oh yeah
    7:10 am on August 1st, 2008 30

    'It is because of fishing rights.'

    Hahahahahahahahaha!!!! Is that it GI Korea?

  • Kyu
    7:16 am on August 1st, 2008 31

    I thought this was an informed site. But after seeing what Oh Yeah had to say i'm not concerned with the opinions of this site… Yes it is about fishing rights which bring in around 126k tons for korea and about 96k tons for japan in the surrounding area of Dokdo…

  • squatch
    7:28 am on August 1st, 2008 32


    Since S Korea continuously attacks Japan regardless of any possible provocation by Japan, this "crisis" now is probably another routine for them, and one that they're inclined to ignore. You may disagree, but I think the Japanese government aren't thinking as much.

  • R.W.
    2:02 pm on August 1st, 2008 33


    We weren't *denying* the territory to anyone; we were simply maintaining our neutrality by using the European name for it instead of the Korean or Japanese name for it. As I said, we should maintain neutrality on the issue because it's none of our business.

  • suckit
    4:06 pm on August 1st, 2008 34

    When I first read the headlines, I was incensed. How could the US violate its 50 year-old policy simply by Bush saying so? I was outraged

    BUT GIKOREA. IT IS YOUR REPUBICAN commander in chief. He says it and you OBEY. OBEY SOLDER…. get on your knees and suck it..suck it.. gurgle… gurgle..ahh..

  • suckit
    4:12 pm on August 1st, 2008 35

    SUCK IT…. ahhh… u love that…

  • suckit
    4:13 pm on August 1st, 2008 36


  • R.W.
    4:50 pm on August 1st, 2008 37

    Haha. I'm guessing by you poor writing abilities that the English language isn't you strong suit. Try taking some English lessons from those drug dealing tutors ;)


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