The Korean American Leaders Association (KALA) and BYON International - both Korean-American organizations in the U.S. - kicked off a fresh PR campaign to spread the word that Dokdo belongs to Korea.
They designed and created blue elastic bracelets with the words "Dokdo is Korean Territory" and "East Sea is Korea" written on them. With the initial distribution starting in New York and New Jersey, KALA co-chair Hwang Sung-ho says the campaign will soon go national.
"We need to be more aggressive in raising awareness in the U.S. about the importance of this issue," he told The Korea Times, stressing that the U.S. holds the key to resolving the long-running dispute between Korea and Japan.
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"People in the U.S. know and talk about the Falkland Islands but nobody knows about Dokdo," said Hwang, "and that's what we need to change."
He pointed out the reality that even Korean-Americans do not have an understanding of Dokdo.
"The campaign will first target the younger generations on college campuses and then expand from there," said Hwang.
KALA officials say they plan to increase distribution of the blue bracelets by having runners of this year's Boston Marathon wear them during the annual event later this month. Plus, they are seeking cooperation with other Korean organizations nationwide for a faster and more effective distribution.
There is renewed interest in Korea's terrotirial disputes, in Korea, after more Japanese textbooks included the rocks as part of their territory. That's what nations in a territorial dispute do, they dispute territory, though the reaction among the media and among citizens shows a misunderstanding of this point. This all comes, of course, after a South Korean navy vessel sunk in the Yellow Sea by, as many are reporting, a North Korean torpedo. After what many are considering an attack by the North, Seoul responded by . . .
President Lee Myung-bak said Friday that his administration will come up with measures to ensure the country's continued control of the islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.
Getting back to the article, no, you don't need to be more aggressive in raising awareness in the US about the importance of this issue because Americans who aren't ethnically Korean don't care and don't consider it important. Regardless of the potential role the US could play, you're alienating Americans by forcing your disputes, hang-ups, and insecurities, on the public. Matter of fact, with the full-page newspaper advertisements, the billboards, the videos in Times Square, and the preaching every chance you get, I'd say your level of aggression is a bit high already.
And while we're here, I never miss an opportunity to hate this "East Sea" crap. I've written my thoughts on it many times---here, or in the "Liancourt Rocks" category---and noted that some Koreans never tire of dictating to English-speakers how their own language should be used. Singer Kim Jang-hoon often takes out full-page ads in papers like the New York Times and Washington Post, pointing out the "errors" on maps that label it Sea of Japan. The Korea Herald wrote about one such ad:
The ad expressed regret that the article had "a small but significant error," saying, "This body of water has been referred to as the East Sea by many nations over the past 2,000 years."
Remarkable, I had no idea nations were using English 2,000 years ago. Koreans don't use English, most aren't proficient in it, and even Kim himself demonstrated with comments on his Cyworld page that he's not somebody to be considered an authority on the language:
Thank you for WSJ
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East Sea/Sea of japan
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정말 눈물이 날만큼 기쁩니다.
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'Truth wins,in thw end'
It's exceptionally arrogant for Koreans to dictate to English-speakers how they should refer to a body of water in their own language, and even moreso when the alternatives suggested, like "East Sea" or "Sea of Korea," are even more biased than the original. The name in Korean is 동해---"East Sea"---and nobody is suggesting changing the name to 일본해. However, the accepted name in English is Sea of Japan, and Koreans who use English will, well, have to accept it.