Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pentagon Upsets Patriots by Mislabeling Maps (East Sea versus Sea of Japan)

Two points:

First we should remember how serious the names of the East and West Sea (vice Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan) are to the Koreans (and others such as the Amnokgang vice the Yalu River [the Chinese name]).  

Second, I really would have thought that we would have had someone in the Pentagon who would have caught this (but of course we did not either when we switched to the WGS 84 maps in the 1990's and it had the Sea of Japan).  I know the Pentagon response as per the final paragraph is  that Sea of Japan is the internationally accepted name (it is just that not all countries in the international community recognize it as the sole name, namely Korea).  I find "silence is consent" to be a lame excuse. People working Korea issues should absolutely know, understand, and appreciate these nuances (because to the Koreans they are not nuance - some in Korea read these "errors" as taking the Japanese side in territorial disputes and that the colonial period of Korean history is no longer a concern to those outside Korea - we all cannot know everything, I know I certainly do not; but there are advisers out there that do know these things and should be consulted - this is exactly how the Highway 56 incident got out of control - people did not heed the advice of the experts, but I digress).   There is an old saying within the PSYOP community.  It goes something like this:  "know your target audience."  But I guess I would also be told that the Korean patriots were not the target audience.

Pentagon Upsets Patriots by Mislabeling Maps

The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."

The exhibition by the U.S. government commemorates the 60th anniversary of the armistice that halted the war and is expected to draw 100,000 visitors a year.

But a Chosun Ilbo reporter spotted 10 exhibits including six large maps that label the body of water as "Sea of Japan" but not one that used the preferred Korean name "East Sea."
The government and activists here have gone to some length to persuade international bodies to use both names because "Sea of Japan" reminds them of colonial times, but the U.S. officially still uses only the old name.

However, critics are saying that Washington could have taken steps to address the Sea of Japan reference if Seoul had stressed its stance on the matter, considering the fact that the aim of the exhibition is to underscore the strong Korea-U.S. alliance. There is a precedent involving such changes being made. 
(Continued at the link below)

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