[EDITORIALS]Stop the name nonsense

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[EDITORIALS]Stop the name nonsense

The International Hydrographic Organization, the world's authority on the standardization of nautical charts, has decided to withdraw its proposal that the name of the water between the Korean Peninsula and Japanese islands should not be left marked solely as the Sea of Japan. The decision to withdraw this proposal that was made in August, just before the publication of the fourth edition of its "Limits of Oceans and Seas," is incomprehensible.

In its notice to the Korean government, the organization claimed that it withdrew the proposal because several member states objected, deeming a revision of the proposal necessary before voting on the proposal.

Yet it is hard to find a precedent in which any international organization has canceled a vote midway like this. Moreover, the three new members of the directing committee who made this decision would be overturning the decision of their predecessors.

The tenacious lobbying of the three new committee members by Japan was more than expected. Yet the Korean government only acted after receiving notice from the International Hydrographic Organization headquarters last week by hurriedly sending an envoy in protest.

Korea and Japan have been engaged in a vigorous battle of diplomacy over the official naming of the sea located in between them. The international group's decision to propose voting whether the sea should be left marked solely as the Sea of Japan as it currently is was a valuable "half-victory" for Korea, and Japan had applied all its diplomatic resources to get the decision overturned. A Korean government official claimed that he had never expected the voting to be canceled midway, but that we should reflect on how negligent we had been after turning in our final proposal to the International Hydrographic Organization's office.

The Korean government should not only continue to work together with the other member states in objecting to the unjustness of this decision, it should also adopt any and all diplomatic measures available to ensure that the final draft to come will at least follow the previous International Hydrographic Organization's de-cision in marking the body of water both as the Sea of Japan and the East Sea.
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