The Korea Herald

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Opposition leader proposes bill to observe 'Dokdo Day'

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : March 21, 2023 - 14:32

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Dokdo (123rf) Dokdo (123rf)

Main opposition Democratic Party of Korea leader Rep. Lee Jae-myung on Tuesday proposed a revision bill for the South Korean government to observe Dokdo Day on Oct. 25.

The bill floated by Rep. Lee and nine lawmakers seeks to designate Dokdo Day as an anniversary celebrated by the Korean government. It would not be a public holiday, according to the bill.

The Korean civic group Party for Tokdo Protection has celebrated Dokdo Day since Oct. 25, 2000, the centennial of Joseon King Gojong's ordinance to establish Korea's sovereignty over the islets in accordance with modern law. Tokdo is an alternative spelling of Dokdo.

Rep. Lee said the revision of the Act On the Sustainable Use of Dokdo is meant to raise the awareness of Korea's sovereignty over the islets.

Japan has continued its claim over Dokdo, while it is South Korea’s position that no territorial dispute exists regarding the islets as it is not a matter subject to diplomatic negotiations or judicial settlement.

The proposal came the same day President Yoon Suk Yeol told a Cabinet meeting that "resorting to aggressive nationalism by stirring up anti-Japanese sentiment means failure to fulfill my duty as the president," a week after he held a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Calling the summit “humiliating,” Rep. Lee said, “Criticism has grown toward President Yoon Suk Yeol, who failed to fulfill his constitutional duty to safeguard territorial integrity and human dignity.”