South Korea to open school named after controversial Dokdo islets in New York

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A museum featuring the history of South Korea, highlighting its indepdence movement against Japanese colonialism, has announced a new school named after the Dokdo islets claimed by both countries.

The Independence Hall of Korea said on Thursday that a Dokdo School will open its doors in New York City on Oct 25, or Dokdo Day.

Seo Kyoung Duk, the school principal, said he has decided to launch a unit abroad to draw more international attention and raise awareness of South Korea's easternmost islets, the subject of a territorial dispute with Japan.

Following the launch of the first overseas Dokdo School, more will be set up in 100 major cities over the next five years, Seo said.

"By joining forces with overseas Hangeul schools around the world, Dokdo School in New York will share ideas and educate foreigners on why the Dokdo Islets belong to Korea," Seo added.

Japan's claim over the Dokdo islets dates back to its colonisation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Earlier this year, the Tokyo government required teachers to describe Takeshima - the Japanese name for Dokdo - as "indigenous Japanese territory" to middle and high school students.

Initiated by the Independence Hall of Korea, Dokdo School was first set up in February 2013 in Cheonan, a city in South Chungcheong Province west of South Korea. The school aims to operate educational programmes on Dokdo until Japan abandons its sovereignty claim over the islets.