US Congress Library Delays Meeting on Dokdo Name Change

The U.S. Library of Congress has put off a meeting to discuss changing the name of South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, also claimed by Japan, to that of a French whaling ship that first introduced the islets to Europe.

The library had been scheduled to hold a meeting Wednesday to decide whether to change the name of Tok Island, known as Dokdo in South Korea, to Liancourt Rocks in an authoritative guide for libraries in North America, Yonhap News reported quoting Kim Ha-na, head of the Korea section of the Council on East Asian Librarians, a group of East Asian librarians in North America.

A spokesman for South Korea’s embassy in Washington, however, said the library has delayed the meeting, according to Yonhap.

A source at the library was quoted as saying the meeting was “postponed until we get enough information” from the South Korean embassy, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names and other related parties on the “sensitive issue.”

“I understand that the library has delayed the meeting in consideration of the sensitive timing when South Korea and Japan are embroiled in a diplomatic dispute over Dokdo islets,” the source said.

In a fresh diplomatic row with Japan, South Korea Monday summoned its ambassador to Japan in protest over the Japanese Education Ministry’s release of new guidelines for middle school textbooks describing the Dokdo islets, lying in waters between the two Asian neighbors, as Japanese territory.

In an effort to remain neutral in the sensitive history dispute between its two major Asian allies, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Monday, “I think you leave it to both South Korea and Japan to each describe that relationship. We independently have good relationships with them.”

The territorial dispute has been a headache for the U.S. government as it has often driven a chasm between Washington’s two closest allies in Asia at a time when they need to cooperate closely in dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions and other regional security issues.

www.koreatimes.co.kr [The Korea Times] | Original News @ HERE
Date : 2008/07/14

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