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Debate: Dokdo Islands dispute

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Does South Korea own the Dokdo Islands, or does Japan?

Background and context

Dokdo is an island made up of two tiny rocky islets surrounded by 33 smaller rocks. It is 215km off the eastern border of Korea and 90km off the east of Ullung Island. And it is 157km off northwest of Japan's Oki Island. Today, there is a dispute between Korea and Japan over control of the islands.

Dokdo is important because of there being a lot of natural resources under it. Under Dokdo, there is natural resource called 'hydrogen hydrate'. Experts estimate that there is a lot of hydrogen hydrate that equals to $150,000,000,000. Moreover, there are a lot of fish which could be exported.

Dokdo became independent island state called 'Usankuk' in Shilla Dynasty in 512 AD. Dokdo was first registered on charts in Europe after a French expedition under the leadership of Jean F. G. Perusoe in May of 1787. In Korea, they call this island Dokdo and Japanese call this Takeshima. Korea currently controls Dokdo.

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  • Dokdo belongs to Korea historically. Dokdo was already shown in the ancient map of Silla before AD 1000, long before the Japanese even knew about Dokdo's existence. South Korea has claimed its ownership of the Dokdo islets since centuries ago, before the American Revolution. There are hundreds of legal documents, both historic and recent that proves South Korea owns these islets.
  • Dokdo is currently inhabitated by Koreans. Dokdo is currently registered as the solid Korean island and is inhabited by Korean police and some residents, with no trace of any Japanese.



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