U.S. asks IHO if ‘East Sea’ could be in index

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U.S. asks IHO if ‘East Sea’ could be in index

WASHINGTON - The United States government has asked the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to consider using East Sea as an “alternate name” for the Sea of Japan in the appendix of its internationally recognized publication, a diplomatic source told the JoongAng Ilbo on Tuesday.

The move came after the Korean public responded angrily to reports that a U.S. government agency informed the international authority of its support for the sole use of the Sea of Japan to refer to the body of water that lies east of the Korean Peninsula.

Koreans have called it the East Sea for the past 2,000 years, according to historical documents. Seoul has maintained that the IHO should use its preferred name together with the Sea of Japan.

The United States, the source said, told the IHO to consider possibly listing the East Sea as an alternate name in its appendix, as it would be difficult to use both names simultaneously in the main text of its authoritative publication on the names and locations of bodies of water.

“Including the East Sea in the appendix can show that it is being used as another name for the Sea of Japan,” the diplomatic source said.

By Park Seung-hee [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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