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Dokdo not marked on maps provided by embassies in S. Korea

A captured photo from Seo Kyung-duk‘s Instagram account shows a map provided by the French Embassy in Seoul, which has marked Dokdo as “Rochers du Liancourt“ and the East Sea as “Mer Du Japon” or the Sea of Japan. (Courtesy of Seo Kyung-duk)
A captured photo from Seo Kyung-duk‘s Instagram account shows a map provided by the French Embassy in Seoul, which has marked Dokdo as “Rochers du Liancourt“ and the East Sea as “Mer Du Japon” or the Sea of Japan. (Courtesy of Seo Kyung-duk)
Seo Kyung-duk, a professor at Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul and an expert on Dokdo issues, on Wednesday, said that Dokdo islets were absent from the online maps provided by embassies of major countries.

The Dokdo islets are controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. The dispute has been a cause of much tension between Seoul and Tokyo, as well as between the people of the two countries.

Seo argued that the countries that have stationed their diplomats in their embassies in South Korea should have been more careful when presenting maps that address such a controversial subject.

“It is natural for the countries that have embassies in South Korea to consider local people’s feelings,” Seo said. “It is just a shame,” Seo added.

Seo shared his findings on Wednesday in an Instagram post that included an image of a map provided by the French Embassy in Seoul. The image showed that Dokdo was marked as “Rochers du Liancourt,” while the East Sea was marked as “Mer Du Japon” or the Sea of Japan.

Seo said he also checked maps provided by embassies of other G7 countries in Seoul –- including the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy and Japan –- but could not find a single map that marked the islets as Dokdo.

In the online map from the US Embassy in Seoul, Dokdo and the East Sea were completely absent, Seo said. In a PDF map that can be downloaded from the official website of the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, Dokdo and the East Sea have not been marked.

The Italian Embassy and the Japanese Embassy in Seoul offer maps that only show the areas surrounding their embassies.

The German Embassy in Seoul provides Google Maps, while the British Embassy and the Chinese Embassy in Seoul provide no map, Seo added.

Seo continues to check maps provided by embassies of other countries to see if Dokdo and the East Sea are properly marked. If not, he would contact the embassies in protest, asking for corrections.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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