Living here in Korea, I hear a lot about Dokdo. This year in particular, the issue has been as hot as the August summer. Unfortunately, there is little in Korean news that gives intelligent readers information of value concerning the issue. The value that can be garnered, must be sifted out of the opinion fluff that takes up too much space on the page, making for a tedious read and a great deal of guess work. All too many articles that I have encountered on Dokdo from any given Korean news source have read more like fiery op-eds aimed to convince the populace to unite against Japanese evil, rather than the reports that they inherently claim to be. If anyone knows of some good unbiased news from Korea on Dokdo I would love to know about it. I lament that all too often, the line is blurred between news and opinion, and one can get lost in the charged emotions.
That is why I truly value good news when it comes along. Today the New York Times wrote an article on Dokdo that puts the issue into perspective for those who are more interested in the issue, rather than an emotional appeal to national pride (don’t we get enough of that in politics). Of course in a better world, the New York Times would never spend time informing us about “desolate dots in the sea,” but Korea has made this into a big enough issue (and Korean news sources have explained it so poorly), that it merits some proper explanations. Here is one that is worth a read.