To promote international knowledge about Dokdo, the Daegu Office of Education sent 20 native speaking teachers from various countries to Dokdo from Tuesday to Thursday last week. The organizers planned for it to be a training event so that the teachers can be honorary ambassadors for Dokdo. They will also sit in on lectures by the Dokdo Research Institute, Yeongnam University, and the Northeast Asian History Foundation.
A Kyunghyang Sinmun article about this opens by describing an American teacher at a high school in Daegu: "These days she is using social network services to let friends and family in the US know that Dokdo is Korean territory." I guess that's no worse than spreading cat memes.
A follow-up Segye Ilbo article with a photo of them about to leave had the sub-headline "I'm so excited to go to Dokdo!" and an official telling us that "Using Facebook and Twitter, our foreign friends can also be taught that Dokdo is Korean territory."
The Joongang Ilbo published a photo of the teachers on the the islets and opens with quotes from a teacher:
'"Dokdo is really beautiful. I was surprised that it was much bigger than I thought." On the 26th, he stated his feelings about setting foot on Dokdo for the first time: "I'm proud that I waved the Korean flag and shouted "Dokdo is Korean land!" on Dokdo."' It actually names these people, but I'll spare them that, partly because I imagine the reporter took some creative license when writing the article.
Hopefully they didn't have to dance to Gangnam Style (it appears the video is now private... that's likely my fault).
It always amazes me that there's such an incredible tourist destination right next door, but Ulleungdo is always an afterthought when it comes to using foreigners as nationalist propaganda tools.
More photos of Ulleungdo are here.
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