Last fall they got 87 native speaker teachers to go. We read the account of one earlier:
When we arrive, we aren’t allowed to get on the boat right away, first we all stood in a group and the cameramen filmed us talking, just shooting the breeze, about the blah weather, and the fact that we likely wouldn’t even be able to set foot on Dok-do because the waves would likely be too choppy surrounding the island. After a few close-ups we were let onboard and the crew led the way to our cabins. Each room had 3 bunk beds and our names were on the doors, boys on the left and girls on the right. After claiming our spots and mingling in the hallway while a few were interviewed on camera (What do you think about Dok-do island? Do you think you will have a good visit to Dok-do? Do you feel Dok-do is an important issue?) we were called on deck for the funniest part of the trip…little did I know it was to be one of the last times we’d smile on board this ship. They gave us name tags with the now famous motto: Dok-do is Korean territory, and a picture of our flag so we could all see what country we were from, and then we were rounded up in front of the giant Dok-do banner (it travels) and instructed to wave our flags and say, in Korean, that Dok-do is Korean territory. Are you picking up on the theme? They were going to air this footage on t.v and we were all reasonably sure that we would be forever banned from entering the country of Japan after this little display went public.Anyone who knows anything about Koreans will know this trip will be nothing but a propoganda exercise. Why get involved? Here's what I wrote about not participating in a Dokdo essay contest run by the Korea Times:
I believe that getting involved in a war of words on this unresolvable topic runs antithetical to the spirit of openness and cross-cultural understanding many of us came over here to experience in the first place.
If your motivation for going is to score some points in the office, take it from me that goodwill can dissipate quickly anytime you do, oh, anything.