Friday, August 24, 2012

Typhoon Bolaven Brings Korea Chance to Officially Claim Ieodo

Beautiful Korean island of Ieodo
Everyone in Korea knows about the Korean island of Ieodo, Korea's treasure island belonging to to Jeju with beautiful myths and ocean research station. Sadly, the island was flooded after the last ice-age, so that now it lies submerged under 4.6 meters of water between Korea and China – but closer to the nearest Korean island than it is to the Chinese mainland. Because it lies underwater, Ieodo can occasionally be a little dirty and smelly so the Chinese dubiously claim it as their territory, even though it isn't dirty and smelly most of the time.

Unfortunately, Korea is unable to take the matter of ownership of the Korean island to the International Court of Justice - as it wishes to do in order to correct China's distorted account of the facts about Ieodo - because the island is flooded and the heavily Chinese-influenced United Nations says countries cannot claim 'underwater' islands outside their coastal waters as their territory. This creates the absurd position of South Korea not being able to claim its own island – a territory so old it was named as an island with the 'do' suffix, proving it was populated by Koreans during the last ice age 20,000 years ago when it proudly sat 126 meters out of the water and was home to a small town with its widely-known Ieodo Festival.

But early on Monday Korea has an extraordinary chance to officially claim back Ieodo once and for all, and put an end to this preposterous territorial dispute, which is not really a dispute at all because there is no dispute in Korea. The category-3 Typhoon Bolaven is expected to hit Ieodo directly at the start of next week, and while this is bad news for both the island's Korean residents, the 8 meter storm surge associated with the 209 kph winds is expected to lead to a brief dip of 5 meters in the trailing sea levels due to water displacement. Experts say this will leave the tip of Ieodosan – Ieodo's highest mountain – briefly exposed above the water line for up to twenty-two minutes.

During this twenty-two minute period, the United Nations cannot deny the clear fact that Ieodo is an island again, as long as it meets the international definition of being an island rather than a rock – which is having at least one tree growing on it. To this end it is understood that the Ministry of Really Korean Territories, in conjunction with the Jeju police force and Navy, has devised a plan to end China's dubious claim by quickly planting a tree on the top of Ieodosan – underneath the ocean research station, making it an island. At the same time the ministry will simultaneously apply to the United Nations to make Ieodo an internationally recognized Korean territory.

While the twisted United Nations rules say a submerged rock cannot be claimed, there are no rules which would see Korea lose its island after it is flooded again, even if the tree does not stay in place. China's shameless territorial claim over Korea's Ieodo island will be ended, and it will be seen by the international community for the absurdity that it is.

The biggest risk is that the operation will have to be conducted in a short time-frame in typhoon conditions while possibly under attack by the Chinese Navy and its paramilitary fishing fleet, which have no doubt drawn up plans to invade the Korean island themselves. But needless to say, Korea must seize the opportunity presented by Typhoon Bolaven to defend Ieodo as it is Korean geographically, culturally, poetically, and intellectually.

Related Links
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Korea Braces for Arrival of Typhoon Bolaven
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International Conference to be Held on Korean Island of Ieodo
China Attacks Korean Island of Ieodo
Seminar on Ieodo to be held in Seoul June 30
Korean Navy explored Ieodo in 1951
Ieodo seminar explores Korea’s new frontier
Korea launches boat to service Ieodo research station
Coast guard conducts emergency exercise near Ieodo
Coast Guard Deploys Extra Aircraft Near Ieodo
China demanded S. Korea stop activities near Ieodo
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