'Dokdo is Korean territory'
By Lee Tae-hoon
Participants and winners of the 3rd International Dokdo Essay Contest said Thursday that “Dokdo belongs to Korea and there is no doubt that Japan’s claims over the rocky islets are illegitimate.”
During an awards ceremony held in Seoul, Audwin Wilkinson, Gold Prize winner of the annual contest, stressed that Korea and Japan should continue to work together for the peace and prosperity in the Northeast Asian region, but also need to solve the Dokdo issue.
“The essay contest provided me an opportunity to gain a clear insight into the sovereignty issue over Dokdo,” he said. “In the process of researching and writing the essay, I was able to confidently reach a conclusion that Dokdo is a part of Korean territory from all historical and legal aspects.”
Moon Ji-yong, Bronze Prize winner, concurred with him, saying the contest helped him to dispel doubts about Korea’s rights over Dokdo, which Japan insists that it successfully incorporated into its territory in 1905.
“Like the majority of people, I believed Dokdo is Korean territory, but had difficulties in explaining it to others in a logical and persuasive manner with concrete evidence,” he said. “I’m so glad that I joined the essay contest, not because of the prize money and the plaque, but because of the great knowledge that I gained about the truth over the Dokdo issue.”
Chung Jae-jeong, president of the Northeast Asian History Foundation (NAHF), said he will continue to support the Dokdo essay contest, which offers a chance for people in Korea and abroad to explore the opposing claims of Seoul and Tokyo over the contentious issue.
The NAHF and The Korea Times jointly organized the contest this year under the theme, “Why was Dokdo omitted in the final version of the San Francisco Peace Treaty?”
The 12 winning works of the contest have been published in a booklet. The publication is also available in an e-book format on Amazon.