Rock-ballad singer performs on Dokdo

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Rock-ballad singer performs on Dokdo


Singer Kim Jang-hoon performs during a special concert on a boat anchored between the Dokdo islets in the East Sea yesterday. [YONHAP]

Korea’s rock-ballad singer Kim Jang-hoon held a special concert on a boat anchored between the East Sea’s two Dokdo islets yesterday - Korea’s March 1 Independence Movement Day, which commemorates a 1919 civil uprising against Japan’s colonial rule. The “Dokdo festival” was the first concert ever held there.

“I am happy because I finally made it after failing to do it on the previous day,“ Kim told reporters.

He had initially planned to do the concert on Monday, but he had to postpone it after the ship’s departure was canceled because of a high-wave warning.

The singer is known for his contributions in promoting Dokdo as Korean territory, having advertised the islets with Korea promoter Seo Kyoung-duk in the U.S. media, including The New York Times.

The islets, 90 kilometers (56 miles) east of Ulleung Island, have been a constant stumbling block to Korea-Japan relations.

Kim said in an interview on Monday, after being held up by bad weather in Gangneung, “My dream is to promote the ‘Dokdo festival’ as one of the biggest music festivals in the world.”

Some 200 supporters and students from a nongovernmental organization, the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, attended.

He said he will take a cultural and tourist approach toward the promotional campaign, instead of a political approach.

“The concert is not aiming to deliver the message that ‘Dokdo is our land.’ It’s part of my nationwide tour of the ‘Dokdo festival,’ which has been held in Seoul and Busan since last year,” he said. “I’m not a scientist or a chemist. I just want to take a cultural approach.”

He said he wants his concert to be called the “East Sea Festival” in the future, with participation from various artists around the world. “This festival will have grown enough in five years. Then I want to advertise Dokdo with [the festival’s] profits,” said Kim. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Madonna were to perform on stage at the ‘East Sea Festival’?”

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