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Dokdo, Beautiful Island of Korea

Dokdo, the First Victim of Japan’s Aggression Against the Korean Peninsula

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Pyun Yung-tai, the third Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Rok (October 28, 1954)

…the Japanese government must well remember the fact that it
deprived Korea of her sovereignty for over forty years through
imperial Japanese aggression. As it is no doubt well aware,
the aggression took place in stages, culminating in the annexation
of the entire Korean peninsula by Japan in 1910. But, in fact,
Japan had seized the power to control Korea in 1904
when it forced upon Korea to sign the Korea-Japan Treaty
of 1904 and the Korea-Japan Protocol of August 1904.

In the following year (1905), the Shimane Prefectural
Government alleged that it had incorporated Dokdo into
its jurisdiction. It is Dokdo that was the first Korean territory
to fall victim to Japan’s aggression against the Korean peninsula.
Now, with the Japanese government persistently making an absurd claim over Dokdo,
the Koreans cannot help but have serious suspicion if Japan is going down the same path of aggression once again.

Against this backdrop, Dokdo means much more to the Koreans than merely being a small island in the East Sea.
It symbolizes Korea’s sovereignty against Japan and represents a critical test of the integrity of Korean sovereignty.