Dokdo: Your dream vacation come true!
Posted by ampontan on Sunday, September 21, 2008
HAVING DIFFICULTY selecting the destination for your next vacation? Can’t decide between the surfside fun at Australia’s Gold Coast, the carnival at Rio, the romance and internationalism of San Francisco, or the Grand Tour of Europe?
If you prefer the more rugged and super-cool eco-tourist hideaways, are you torn between diving in Palau, sunning on Costa Rica’s black sand beaches, sailing through the Norwegian fjords, or taking snapshots of lions, elephants, hypertrophied snails, and other exotic creatures in Kenya?
Here’s some good news for those folks who can’t make up their mind. Now there’s another option to consider that will surely be the envy of your friends and co-workers for its sheer exoticism, if nothing else: Relax and enjoy the scenery for two days on Dokdo, and the Korea Times will foot the bill. All you have to do is be one of the lucky winners in the new contest for non-Koreans co-sponsored by the newspaper and the Northeast Asian History Foundation. To enter, write an 800-word essay on the topic, “Why is Dokdo Korean Territory?”
The odds look pretty good. It’s unlikely there will be many entries, and Grand, Golden, Silver, and Bronze prizes are being offered. Here’s what the winners will receive:
Grand Prize: Five two-day round-trip tickets to Dokdo.
Golden Prize: Four two-day round-trip tickets to Dokdo.
Silver Prize: Three two-day round-trip tickets to Dokdo.
Bronze Prize: Two two-day round-trip tickets to Dokdo.
And here’s the clincher: All the prize winners get a plaque.
The sponsors have thought of everything. The winners who live overseas will get a round-trip ticket from their home to Seoul (from the nearest airport with Korean Airlines service).
The Korea Times also says that “Applicants providing new pieces of evidence on Korea’s sovereignty over the islets, including unpublished maps, photos, and documents, will be given high marks.”
One has to wonder what the Korea Times thinks of the existing “evidence of Korea’s sovereignty” if they’re fishing for foreigners who just happen to have centuries-old maps of the Sea of Japan rolled up in a rubber band and stuck in a corner of their sock drawer.
There’s another aspect to consider: A prize is almost certainly assured for foreigners who are not ethnic Koreans, if only because it will allow the sponsors to boast of an international consensus. The stated objective of the contest is “to promote international awareness about the history of the rocky islets.” Now ask yourself how many people who are not ethnic Koreans will be entering the contest. See what I mean?
It shouldn’t be too hard to conduct research, either. Spend an hour sifting through all material the Koreans have dumped on the web over the past few years, cherry-pick the most popular and outrageous arguments (look to university professors for the latter), rework it all with some punchy prose, throw in a reference that the evidence for Korean ownership is so obvious a grade-schooler could understand it, and then mention in passing that the Japanese claim is motivated by a desire to reestablish their imperialist hegemony over the Korean Peninsula.
Really, how can you lose?
Heck, I’m tempted to write an essay myself!
You’d better hurry, though. The deadline for submission is 17 October.
Confidential to Gerry Bevers: You’re disqualified!
Here’s a link to a post about the contest from ROK Drop, which reproduces the ad in full. Thanks to Get a Job Son for passing along the info.