August 14, 2009 08:32
Five students from Seoul National University and a former middle school teacher have formed a group called the "Dokdo Racers" and are planning to travel around the world to promote international awareness of Korea's sovereignty over the Dokdo islets. The students will take a year off from school for the journey.
"The Dokdo islets are certainly part of Korean soil, but the international community now considers them a disputed area between Korea and Japan," the leader of the group said. "We cannot just sit back and lose sovereignty, so we decided to take the initiative to inform the world that the islets belong to Korea."
Leaving for San Francisco on Friday afternoon, they will travel to 30 cities in 50 countries including the U.S., Australia and nations in Europe and Africa, returning to Korea on Aug. 14 next year.
The students plan to run together through city centers in "Dokdo Races," and will pass out T-shirts printed with "taegeuk" (yin-yang) symbols and the phrase "Dokdo is Korea's beautiful island" in 16 languages.
The races will be supplemented with seminars on the islets for university students, and performances of Korean folk music, dance, and Taekwondo. They will also visit mapmakers and publishers to ask that the islets be labeled Dokdo rather than "Takeshima" or "Liancourt Rocks," names which Japan has sought to bolster its claims of sovereignty over the islets.
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