Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ieodo: I smell a fish

Long time no Ieodo claims from China!

For the Dokdo-esque fight between Korea and China over this obscure underwater territory known as Suyan Rock in Beijing, see "
Korea on the rocks part II". Since Ieodo is underwater, it cannot be seen on a map*, but I positioned it (supposedly 32.122953, 125.182447) on Seoul Village map:

View Seoul Village in a larger map

The revival of such claims doesn't come as a surprise: Chinese fishing boats have recently tested South Korean nerves, the ongoing crisis culminating last December, when a Chinese fisherman stabbed a Korean coast guard to death. China has also been flexing its navy muscles across the globe, patrolling the seas with brand new fleets.

Just like with Japan and Dokdo, nationalism and politics are only part of the show: it's also about territorial waters and fishing zones, and China's catching up with its neighbors in fish and meat consumption... So skirmishes and provocations are bound to multiply.

Note that on the other side of the peninsula, Korea claimed a symbolic victory last month, when French publisher Larousse decided to switch for a balanced label to designate the body of water separating Korea from Japan: "Sea of Japan" now only appears in parentheses after the actual name, "East Sea"**.

Brace up for Ieodoisms, folks: fancy documentaries about rare planctons roaming the area? daily weather reports? 'Ieodo is Korean' bumper stickers?... you name it!

Be quick: someone may rename it.

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* even if Koreans planted a Korean Ieodo Ocean Research Station to mark the territory, without waiting for a verdict from global warming.
** "
French Encyclopedia Publisher Adopts 'East Sea' Denomination" (Chosun Ilbo, February 20, 2012)

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