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S. Korea demands Dokdo name reference in U.S. gov't tour map

2015/03/16 11:34

SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has demanded that the United States include a reference to Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo in a map uploaded on its government website, a foreign ministry official said Monday.

The U.S. Department of State omits the reference of South Korea's rocky outcroppings in the map of Korea uploaded on its consular affairs bureau website (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/korea-south.html), while a similar map for Japan carries the name.

"We've asked the U.S. government to rectify the map of Korea on the website involving the reference, the Liancourt Rocks," the ministry official said.

"The omission may give an impression that the islets belong to Japan, not South Korea," he added, explaining the reason for the request.

The U.S. lists Dokdo, the outcroppings on the East Sea, as the Liancourt Rocks, named after a French whaling vessel that sighted the islets in the 19th century, in a bid to avoid a row over the islets between Seoul and Tokyo.

The State Department still refers to the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan as the Sea of Japan, despite Seoul's demand that it should be called the East Sea.

In January, the U.S. restored the neutral name of the islets in the CIA's World Factbook map, a day after removing its usual reference to the islets in its latest edition, saying that it made a technical mistake.

Japan has long laid claim to the islets, but Seoul has rejected Japan's claim as nonsense as it regained its independence from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule and reclaimed sovereignty over its territory, including Dokdo.

The United States omits a reference to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo in the map of Korea (L) uploaded on the State Department's website, while the map of Japan includes the name. (Yonhap) The United States omits a reference to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo in the map of Korea (L) uploaded on the State Department's website, while the map of Japan includes the name. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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