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The Korean Empire’s Jurisdiction Over Dokdo

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Petition to Uijeongbu

Petition to the State Council of Joseon or Uijeongbu (October 22, 1900)

〔Translation〕

As Ulleungdo is in the East Sea, far from the mainland, an administrator (“dogam”) was appointed in the 504th year of the founding of the nation to protect residents and administer affairs. A comprasion and study of a report by Ulleungdo Administrator Bae Gye-ju and inspection records by U Yong-jeong, an inspector from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and a Dongnae tax official revealed, “Its land extends 80li (old Korean unit of measurement) (31.4km) horizontally and 50li (19.6km) vertically. It is surrounded by steep cliffs on every side, and a large mountain soars up in the center stretching from north to south. A large stream cuts across it, and is deep enough to accommodate several boats. The soil is fertile, and the people are simple and naive. People have lived there and bred livestock for decades. There are no more than 400 households, and the fields reclaimed amount to some 10,000 durak (Korean measure of farmland). The annual yield includes some 20,000 bags of potatoes, 20,000 bags of barley, 10,000 bags of beans, and 5,000 bags of wheat.”

It is smaller than the typical mountain village in terms of the number of households, fields, and crops, but the difference is not great. Foreigners are now visiting the island for trade, and the rank of the administrator is not appropriate in dealing with them and is obstructive in administration. In this light, I believe it to be proper to rename Ulleungdo as Uldo and promote the administrator to county magistrate (“gunsu”) and hereby submit this proposal for an imperial decree to the meeting.

October 22, 4th year of Gwangmu (1900)

Lee Geon-ha, State Council Chanjeong & Minister of Internal Affairs

For review by His Excellency Yun Yong-seon, State Council Prime Minister
Imperial Decree No. 41
The renaming of Ulleungdo to Uldo and the promotion of the administrator (“dogam”) to county magistrate (“gunsu”)Article 1. Ulleungdo shall be renamed Uldo and shall fall under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province). The administrator shall be promoted to county magistrate and incorporated into officialdom, and the county shall be a class 5 county.
Article 2. The county office shall be located in Taeha-dong, and all of the districts of Ulleungdo as well as Jukdo and Seokdo (Dokdo) shall be placed under the jurisdiction of Uldo-gun (Uldo County).
Article 3. The 19 letters starting from Ulleungdo shall be erased from the government office section in the official gazette dated August 16, the 504th year of national foundation. “Gangwon Province’s 26 counties” in Article 5 of Imperial Decree No.36 of the 505th year of national foundation shall be changed to “27 counties” and three characters for "Uldo-gun" shall be added under Anhyeob-gun.
Article 4. A budget for a class 5 county shall be allocated. As the assigned number of officials' positions has yet to be filled and many tasks have yet to be started, its budget shall be provided first.
Article 5. Provisions that are not currently in place will be added depending on the progress in development of the island.
Bylaw
Article 6. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of promulgation.

October 25, 4th year of Gwangmu (1900)

Lee Geon-ha, Temporary Acting State Council Prime Minister, Chanjeong & Minister of Internal Affairs

〔Original Text〕

Original Text