|Kazakh Koreans Delighted|
But the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) has a different opinion - they say that without regard to the location of any specific soil or sea it is Korean territory if a state-run entity digs out natural resources like oil and gas for Korea there.
"This is our land where oil is produced for us. In a sense, we are expanding our national boundary", a KNOC official who has worked in the Korean territory of Kazakhstan for the past two and a half years said.
KNOC has been working hard in recent years to expand Korean territory in various places around the world, but bringing Kazakhstan under Korean control has long been sought after given its historical position as the now little-discussed fourth kingdom from Korea's Four Kingdoms period.
But while various occupations of Korea and the rise of the Soviet Union in the 20th Century cut off Korea's Lost Kingdom from the rest of their homeland, the Korean people in Kazakhstan have not forgotten their heritage despite the years of brutal repression they have suffered, with many of them still speaking in a dialect of Korean, called "Koryo mar" and they still refer to themselves as "Koryo saram." Goryeo - as it is now romanized - was an ancient Korean kingdom which under its previous name of Goguryeo spanned much of the known world at its peak, including territory now wrongly claimed by China, and of course, Kazakhstan.
In further evidence of the strong cultural bonds between Koreans and the Korean people of Kazakhstan, earlier this year - according to a report into the annual average per capita consumption of alcohol by country released by the World Health Organization – it was revealed that Koreans drink more alcohol than any of their Asian neighbors, with their fellow countrymen in Kazakhstan coming just after Korea in the list.
KNOC, which was criticized in September after an expensive drilling campaign in Kurdistan led to the discovery of huge reserves of sand hidden beneath the surface of the country - leaving Korea unable to claim sovereignty over it - said its discoveries in Kazakhstan vindicated its persistence, and that it will continue to expand Korea's national boundaries by claiming ownership of any territory it operates on.
While most of the Korean people of Kazakhstan have welcomed the country's unification with the fatherland, a few isolated and probably mentally unstable individuals in the territory have illogically called for the country to remain independent from Korea, even though it is Korean. But political leaders in Seoul have warned any unreasonable attempts to seize Korean territory - wherever it lies - will potentially be met with force.
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Korea National Oil Corporation
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