Dokdo Issue Delays New W100,000 Notes

    October 08, 2008 11:23

    The government is believed to have tentatively halted plans to issue W100,000 notes due to controversy over whether to include the Dokdo islets in the Daedongyeojido or Grand Map of Korea drawn by Kim Jeong-ho in 1861, which is to form the design of the back side (US$1=W1,329).

    The government had decided to feature a portrait of independence fighter Kim Koo on the front and the Daedongyeojido on the back. But the fact that the original map did not contain Dokdo became a problem. Following outrage over Japan’s territorial claims to Dokdo in teaching guidelines published in July, there have been calls among Koreans to add Dokdo to the historic map.

    Debate over whether to do this or not had been raging ever since. The Foreign Ministry and others said drawing Dokdo on the Daedongyeojido could trigger diplomatic problems due to criticism about authenticity. But they apparently faced stiff resistance from people who insist Dokdo be included in consideration of public sentiment.

    One key official at Cheong Wa Dae said the government decided it was too difficult to choose a side in this issue and asked the Bank of Korea to halt plans to print the new W100,000 notes until a clear decision can be reached.

    But the government will apparently print and circulate the new W50,000 notes as scheduled in early 2009. The front of the W50,000 note will feature a portrait of 16th-century writer Shin Saimdang and the back will feature a painting of ume flowers by 16th-century painter Eo Mong-ryong.

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