The following is a poem by Choi Yearn-hong to Japanese friends.
Don't try to steal the lonely island,
Because it is lonely in the vast blue sea.
It has been owned by the Korean people over 1,500 years.
Two-peak or three-peak looking islets were once the islands
For the seals.
So they named the islets Three-Peak Islands and Seal's Island
Over the years.
Your Tokugawa Government made a wise ruling over the islets
After it inquired about the distance between Ullung Island to Dokdo
And Oki to Dokdo: They belong to Korea, or Joseon in the 17th century.
Don't try to hide your own history of decency and justice.
The Meiji Restoration by Satusma and Chosu samurai modernized
Your country, then colonized Korea and staged the Pacific War.
Then, two atomic bombs forced your Emperor to surrender and
Brought Liberation to Korea.
But your invitation of Russia at the ending of the Pacific War
Made Korea divided, even now.
You don't seem guilty of your 40 years' colonial rule
In the most critical time of the 20th century.
Try to restore East Sea on the water between Japan and Korea,
And Dokdo from Liancourt Rocks or Takeshima in all maps
And persuade the world with history:
Tell them the Sea of Japan should be shared with the East Sea in their maps, and
Tell them Dokdo was the legitimate single name.
White waves from the blue sea will cleanse your conscience and a sense of justice:
Without confession of crime, human history cannot make progress.
The fishing boats could anchor at Dokdo in the stormy sea.
Some currents moved the fishing boats to Dokdo
Before they reached Ulnungdo from the coastline,
So that the innocent fisherman once placed Dokdo in between the coast and Ulnungdo.
They were not scientific enough in the 17th century.
Dokdo was generous and hospitable to the fishermen from Oki.
But don't steal Dokdo from Korea.
East Sea is not just the Sea on the East:
It is the name of renewed hope every dawn with the Sunrise
To all Korean people.
It is the hope and inspiration of 70 million Korean people
And the hope and inspiration of peace on Earth and Sea.
The writer, the founding president of the Korean Poets and Writers Group in the Washington Area, has published one poetry book, Autumn Vocabularies (Writers' Workshop, 1990), and four poetry books in Korean language. His poems have appeared in the PoetryUSA, PEN International, Poets' West, dIS*orient, Mildred, Wyoming, Washington Post, World & I among others, and were translated into Portuguese and published in Brazil. He edited Mother and Dove, Korean-American Poetry Anthology (Institute for Korean-American Culture, 1997), Surfacing Sadness: A Centennial of Korean-American Literature (Homa & Sekey Books, 2003) with Haengja Kim, Fragrance of Poetry: Korean-American Literature (Homa & Sekey, 2005), and An Empty House: Korean-American Poetry (Homa & Sekey, 2008). He read his poems in the U.S. Library of Congress in 1994 and 2003 as an invited poet. He published his poems in the Hyundae Munhak, the most prestigious literary magazine in Korea during his college days at Yonsei University. He reviews Korean literature for World Literature Today.