Skip Navigation

Dokdo Research Center
Main Menus

Dokdo in History

Left Menus


A chronological timeline

HOME > Dokdo in History > A chronological timeline
6th century
  • 512 (13th year of King Jijeung of Silla)
  • Isabu annexes Usan-guk (the State of Usan).
10th century
  • 930 (13th year of King Taejo of Goryeo)
  • The people of Ureung-do bring local specialties as a tribute to Goryeo.
11th century
  • 1018 (9th year of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo)
  • Farming equipment is sent to Usan-guk from the Goryeo Jojeong (royal court) after the region suffers repeated attacks by the Jurchens(Yeojin Tribe).
  • 1019 (10th year of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo)
  • The royal court attempts to send all Usan-guk people seeking refuge from the attack of the Jurchens(Yeojin Tribe) back to Usan-guk.
  • 1022 (13th year of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo)
  • The people of Usan-guk taking refuge on the mainland are allowed to settle in Ye-ju (the local administrative unit governing Pyeonghae, Yeongdeok and Yeongyang).
  • 1032 (Inaugural year of King Deokjong of Goryeo)
  • In the 11th lunar month, the Lord of Ureung sends his son, Bueoingdarang, as an emissary to bring local goods as a tribute to Goryeo.
12th century
  • 1141 (19th year of King Injong of Goryeo)
  • In the 7th lunar month, Myeongju Province Inspector Yi Yang-sil sends his representative to Ulleungdo with instructions to gather unique leaves and fruit seeds as a gift for the king.
  • 1157 (11th year of King Uijong of Goryeo)
  • In the 5th lunar month, King Uijong sends Myeongju Province Inspector Kim Yu-rip to investigate the possibility of establishing a settlement on Ureung-do. Kim reports that the island is too rocky to inhabit, leading the King to abandon the resettlement plan.
13th century
  • 1243 (30th year of King Gojong of Goryeo)
  • Choe Yi begins to relocate people to Ulleungdo during Goryeo’s resistance against Mongolia. The resettlement policy is abandoned, however, as many people drown in the process.
  • 1246 (33rd year of King Gojong of Goryeo)
  • In the 5th lunar month, National Academy professor Gwon Hyeong-yun and civil officer Sa Jeong-sun are jointly appointed as Governor of Ulleungdo.
  • 1273 (14th year of King Wonjong of Goryeo)
  • Yuan China sends Li Shu to Goryeo demanding access to big trees, so King Wonjong appoints Security Council Commissioner Heo Gong as Lumber Inspector for Ulleungdo to accompany Li Shu to the island. Before long, lumbering by Yuan China on Ulleungdo stops at the request of Goryeo.
14th century
  • 1346 (2nd year of King Chungmok of Goryeo)
  • Representatives of the eastern frontier of Ureung-do visit Goryeo.
  • 1379 (5th year of King Wu of Goryeo)
  • In the 7th lunar month, people from Japan arrive on Mureungdo (present-day Dokdo) and stay for 15 days before heading home.
15th century
  • 1403 (3rd year of King Taejong of Joseon)
  • King Taejong orders the residents of Mureungdo to move to the mainland.
  • 1407 (7th year of King Taejong of Joseon)
  • In the 3rd lunar month, Lord So Sadashige of the Japanese island Tsushima (Daemado) returns Joseon captives and brings local goods as a tribute to Joseon. He petitions King Taejong for permission to send settlers to Mureungdo (present-day Dokdo), but the request is denied.
  • 1416 (16th year of King Taejong of Joseon)
  • In the 9th lunar month, former Local Commander Kim In-u from Samcheok is appointed Governor of Mureung and its vicinity to relocate people who have settled on the island illegally.
  • 1417 (17th year of King Taejong of Joseon)
  • In the 2nd lunar month, Kim In-u brings local goods and 3 residents out from Usan-do and reports that 86 persons in 15 households live on the island. A final decision is made to prohibit any further settlement on Usan-do and Mureungdo and to relocate all current residents to the mainland, while regularly deploying a military presence to ensure the security of the island. In the 8th lunar month of this year, the Japanese attack and plunder Mureungdo.
  • 1425 (7th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • In the 10th lunar month, Governor Kim In-u takes and moves 20 civilians from the Usan and Mureung Islands and relocates them to a remote village in the mountains of Chungcheong Province, granting them 3 years of tax exemption as financial support.
  • 1429 (11th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • In the 12th lunar month, Agricultural Minister Yi An-gyeong is sent to Gangwon Province on an information gathering mission to learn about the whereabouts of an island called Yodo.
  • 1430 (12th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • Yi An-gyeong returns in the 1st lunar month, and the Governor of Hamgil Province is then dispatched to find Yodo and to study the island’s topography and the life of its inhabitants. In the 4th lunar month, General Hong Sa-seok and Jeon Nong-yun, Sin In-son travel to Gangwon Province and Hamgil Province, respectively, to find Yodo.
  • 1432 (14th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • Sinchan-paldo-jiriji (New Geographical Description of the Eight Provinces), published in 1432, reports: “Usan and Mureung are located in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. The two islands are close enough to each other that they can be seen from each other on a clear day.” The same information also appears in Sejongsillok-jiriji (Geography Section of the Annals of King Sejong) published in 1454 (2nd year of King Danjong of Joseon).
  • 1436 (18th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • In the leap 6th month of the lunar year, Yu Gye-mun, Governor of Gangwon Province, proposes the establishment of a settlement on Usan near Mureung and the assignment of a local commander and a magistrate, but his request is denied.
  • 1438 (20th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • In the 4th lunar month, former military officers Nam Hoe and Jo Min are appointed as Mureung Investigators. In the 7th lunar month, they return from the island along with 66 settlers and local goods. The Governor of Gangwon Province is dispatched in the 7th lunar month to search again for the location of Yodo.
  • 1445 (27th year of King Sejong of Joseon)
  • In the 8th lunar month, King Sejong announces an award for the explorer who finds Yodo. Nam Hoe is sent again to look for Yodo, but all attempts fail.
  • 1451 (1st year of King Munjong of Joseon)
  • Goryeosa (History of Goryeo), published in 1451, reports: “Ulleungdo is located in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. … It is said that Usan and Mureung are two separate islands and as they are not far apart they can be seen from each other on a clear day.”
  • 1472 (3rd year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • In the 2nd lunar month, the Ministry of War petitions for permission to search for Sambongdo (Dokdo). In the 4th lunar month, Sambong Investigator Park Jong-won takes leave on his expedition. In the 6th lunar month, the provincial Governor of Gangwon files a report indicating that the expedition set sail from Port Uljin on the 28th day of the 5th lunar month and encountered a gale that forced Park Jong-won to harbor at Ganseong-gun. The report states that three other ships, including military official Gwak Yeong-gang’s boat, landed on Mureungdo and explored the island before returning to Ugye-hyeon in Gangneung on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month.
  • 1473 (4th year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • In the 1st lunar month, Jeong Nan-jong, the Governor of Yeongan province, is dispatched on a mission to gather information on Sambongdo and Yodo.
  • 1476 (7th year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • In the 6th lunar month, in response to claims made by Kim Han-gyeong and other officials that they have visited Sambongdo, King Seongjong orders Governor Yi Geuk-kyun of Yeongan to send an expedition to search for the island.
    Yi sends Kim Ja-ju, who reaches the island in the 9th lunar month and returns in the 10th lunar month with a sketch of the island.
  • 1479 (10th year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • In the leap 10th month of the lunar year, Investigator Jo Wi from Yeongan reports that 21 explorers, including Kim Han-gyeong and Kim Ja-ju, set sail for Sambongdo on the 27th day of the 10th lunar month. This expedition fails to locate the island.
  • 1480 (11th year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • In the 2nd lunar month, General Jeong Seok-hui and military training officer Park Jong-won are sent into exile for trying to avoid the position of Sambongdo Investigator. In the 5th lunar month, King Seongjong orders Investigator Shim An-in to suspend expeditions to Sambongdo.
  • 1481 (12th year of King Seongjong of Joseon)
  • Dongguk-yeoji-seungnam (Survey of the Geography of Korea) is published. It states that in Sancheon-jo, Uljin-hyeon in Gangwon Province, “there are Usando and Ulleungdo (or Mureung and Ulleung Islands) - two islands that are in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. On a clear day, scenery such as trees and plants can be seen, and if the winds are calm, you can reach the islands in just two days. It is also said that Usan and Ulleung were once one island.” This passage also appears in Sinjeung-dongguk-yeoji-seungnam (Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea) published in 1530 (25th year of King Jungjong of Joseon).
17th century
  • 1614 (6th year of King Gwanghaegun of Joseon)
  • In the 6th lunar month, Joseon receives a request from the Lord of the Japanese island Tsushima for a guide to Uijukdo (their name for Ulleungdo) in order to explore the topography of the island. Joseon denies his request.
    In the 9th lunar month, Joseon receives the Lord of Tsushima’s request for a permit to establish residence on Ulleungdo, but this request is also denied.
  • 1693 (19th year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • An Yong-bok’s 1st journey to Japan. In the 3rdlunar month, a conflict between some Japanese fishermen and roughly 40 fishermen from Dongnae (present-day Busan) and Ulsan breaks out on Ulleungdo. The Japanese fishermen abduct An Yong-bok and another Korean fisherman named Park Eo-dun to the Japanese island of Oki. Upon arriving in Japan, An appears before the Lord of Oki Island to protest his abduction. He then meets the Lord of Hokishu (present-day Tottori Prefecture) and asserts Korean ownership of Ulleungdo and demands a complete halt to illegal fishing and trespassing on the island by Japanese fishermen. At the request of the Lord of Hokishu, the Tokugawa Shogunate prepares a letter to this effect for An.
    In the 11th lunar month, the Lord of Tsushima repatriates An Yong-bok and Park Eo-dun after charging them with unlawful entry into Japanese territory. The Lord of Tsushima sends them with a letter in which he refers to Ulleungdo as Jukdo and claims sovereignty over the island, demanding that Korea stop fishing in the waters around the island.
    In the 12th lunar month, Protocol Officer Hong Jung-ha pays an official visit to the Japanese settlement (waegwan) in Dongnae and meets with Japanese envoy Tachibana Masachige.
  • 1694 (20th year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 2nd lunar month, Hong Jung-ha delivers a letter on behalf of the Korean government to Japanese envoy Tachibana which states: “Ulleungdo belongs to Joseon, while Jukdo belongs to Japan.” Tachibana asks Hong to delete the reference to Ulleungdo in the letter, but he refuses.
    In the 7th lunar month, Royal Military Messenger Seong Cho-hyeong petitions to establish a settlement on Ulleungdo, but the proposal is rejected.
    In the 8th lunar month, Japanese envoy Tachibana repeats his request that Joseon delete the reference to Ulleungdo from the letter. Tachibana’s repeated requests lead Joseon to decide to take stronger measures against Japan. Yu Jip-il, the newly appointed Protocol Officer, is sent to the Japanese settlement in Dongnae, carrying a reworded letter. At the same time, Investigator Jang Han-sang from Samcheok is sent to Ulleungdo to complete a full investigation into the matter.
    Yu Jip-il questions An Yong-bok about all events and delivers a strong rebuke to Japanese envoy Tachibana for Japan’s wrongful conduct. He also delivers a second letter which states: “Ulleungdo and Jukdo are names for the same island, and Ulleungdo belongs to Korea.” Jang Han-sang departs for Ulleungdo on the 19th day of the 9th lunar month and arrives back in Samcheok in Gangwon province on the 6th day of the 10th lunar month. Inconvenient marine transportation connecting Ulleungdo to the mainland leads Joseon to decide against having settlers inhabit the island, and instead to establish a system of periodic military patrols in the waters around the island, a system known as the Government Patrol System. Meanwhile, Jang Han-sang observes Dokdo, located to the southeast of Ulleungdo.
  • 1696 (22nd year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 1st lunar month, the Tokugawa Shogunate prohibits Japanese nationals from entering the waters around Ulleungdo.
    In the 8th lunar month, An Yong-bok travels again to Japan. An goes to Japan to resolve the Ulleungdo issue, and returns to Yangyang-hyeon of Gangwon province, but is arrested upon his arrival. An is accompanied by other crewmen on this visit to Japan, including Yi In-seong of Pyeongsanpo (presently part of North Korea), and travels through Ulleungdo and Dokdo to arrive in the Japanese island of Hokishu. An Yong-bok refers to himself as the Tax Officer for Ulleung and Jasan Islands, and appears before the Lord of Hokishu to protest Japan’s continued encroachment on Joseon territory. The Lord of Hokishu punishes those who have trespassed on the island, and reaffirms Joseon ownership of Ulleungdo and Dokdo in his statement that “the two islands belong to Joseon, so if the Japanese, including the Lord of Tsushima, encroach upon the islands, they will be heavily punished.” An Yong-bok withdraws his request to take the case to the Tokugawa Shogunate, and returns to Yangyang in Gangwon province.
  • 1697 (23rd year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 1st lunar month, a Japanese envoy from Tsushima, following the orders of the Tokugawa Shogunate, comes to confirm Jukdo as Joseon’s territory, and indicates that Japanese have been banned from the island.
    In the 3rd lunar month, in recognition of An Yong-bok’s contribution to the resolution of this issue, the Korean government stays his pending execution and converts his sentence to life in exile.
    In the 4th lunar month, Joseon decides to increase patrols in the waters around Ulleungdo to a frequency of once every three years.
  • 1699 (25th year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 7th lunar month, having patrolled Ulleungdo under the Government Patrol System, Local Commander Jeon Hoe-il from Wolseong dedicates a map of the island along with a gift of its local products to the king. His voyage is the first under the newly implemented system, since Joseon had been unable to send a patrol during the 24th year of King Sukjong of Joseon due to a bad harvest in the Yeongdong region.
18th century
  • 1702 (28th year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 5th lunar month, Divisonal Commander Yi Jun-myeong of Samcheok, having patrolled Ulleungdo, presents a map of Ulleungdo along with a gift of the island’s local products to the king.
  • 1705 (31st year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 6th lunar month, 16 military officers from various regions, including Hwang Ni-geon from Pyeonghae, drown on their way back from patrolling Ulleungdo. Funeral services are held for the officers.
  • 1708 (34th year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 2nd lunar month, Military Officer Kim Man-chae petitions to establish a military settlement on Ulleungdo, but the proposal is denied.
  • 1717 (43rd year of King Sukjong of Joseon)
  • In the 3rd lunar month, Yi Man-gyeon, the Provincial Governor of Gangwon, asks for the government patrol of Ulleungdo to be suspended for the year due to a bad harvest. His request is approved.
  • 1726 (2nd year of King Yeongjo of Joseon)
  • In the 10th lunar month, a Confucian scholar from Gangwon named Yi Seung-su petitions to post one military officer in Ulleungdo and gather residents to begin farming the land, but the proposal is denied.
  • 1735 (11th year of King Yeongjo of Joseon)
  • In the 1st lunar month, Governor of Gangwon Province Jo Choe-su seeks permission to suspend the Government Patrol System for the year due to a bad harvest, but the request is denied.
  • 1769 (45th year of King Yeongjo of Joseon)
  • In the 10th lunar month, at the suggestion of Chief High State Councilor Hong Bong-han, the Korean government decides to publish a collection of historical documents on Ulleungdo in book form. King Yeongjo orders the Chief Official for Production and Technology Won In-son to work with a former local commander of Samcheok to prepare sketches of the topography and local specialties of Ulleungdo to be included in the publication.
  • 1775 (51st year of King Yeongjo of Joseon)
  • The first map of the region to include longitude and latitude, the “Nihon yochi rotei zenzu” (Complete Map of Japan) by Nagakubo Sekisui, is published in which Ulleungdo is identified as “Takesima” or “Isotakesima” and Dokdo is identified as “Matsusima.” To the left of Ulleungdo, the map states, “Looking at Goryeo (Korea) from this island is the same as looking at Onshu (present-day Oki Island) from the Izumo region.” Following this logic, it can be inferred that at the time Japan clearly considered Ulleungdo and Dokdo to be part of Korea.
  • 1785 (9th year of King Jeongjo of Joseon)
  • Both “Sangoku setsujozu” (Map of the Boundary Between China, Korea and Japan) and “Chosen koku zenzu” (Map of the Eight Provinces of Joseon), which accompany the Japanese book Sangoku tsuran zusetsu (An Illustrated General Survey of Three Countries) by Hayashi Shihei, identify Ulleungdo and Dokdo as Joseon territory.
  • 1787 (11th year of King Jeongjo of Joseon)
  • In the 7th lunar month, 14 Ulsan fishermen are arrested at Samcheok Wharf on their way back from gathering abalones, juniper trees, and bamboo on Ulleungdo.
  • 1794 (18th year of King Jeongjo of Joseon)
  • In the 6th lunar month, Governor of Gangwon Province Sim Jin-hyeon files a report following his patrol of Ulleungdo. Local Commander Han Chang-guk from Wolseong leaves for Ulleungdo on the 21st day of the 4th lunar month and returns to the mainland on the 8th day of the 5th lunar month. During his stay in Ulleungdo, on the 26th day of the 4th lunar month, he also visits Gajido (Dokdo).
19th century
  • 1848 (14th year of King Heonjong of Joseon)
  • On the 17th day of the 4th lunar month, the American whaling vessel Cherokee spots Dokdo at N37º 25′ and E132º 00′.
  • 1849 (15th year of King Heonjong of Joseon)
  • On the 27th day of the 1st lunar month, the crew of the French whaling ship Liancourt identifies Dokdo as being at N37º 2′, E131º 46′ and names the island “Liancourt Rocks” after the ship. From that time on, Liancourt Rocks is used to refer to Dokdo in the French Navy’s coastal piloting and nautical charts, and thus the island comes to be known by that name in the Western world.
  • On the 18th day of the 3rd lunar month, the crew of the American whaling ship William Thompson spot Dokdo at N37º 19′, E 133º9′. The account written by the crew upon the first sighting of the island states that they “spotted three rocks.” This description calls to mind Sambongdo, another name believed to have been attributed to Dokdo during the reign of King Seongjong of Joseon.
  • 1854 (5th year of King Cheoljong of Joseon)
  • On April 6(by the Russian Orthodox Calendar), the Olivutsa, one of four Russian warships under the command of Admiral Putiatin on his journey to the Far East, reports sighting Dokdo in the course of her journey from Manila to the Tartar Strait. The Russians name Seodo “Olivutsa” after the vessel that spotted it, while Dongdo is named “Menelai” after the warship’s original name. The Russians consider Dokdo to be Joseon’s territory. A detailed survey of Dokdo is presented in the January 1855 issue of the Russian Navy’s official magazine, alongside observations of Ulleungdo made by the crew of the Bastok and a survey of the East Sea coastline conducted by the crew of the Pallada. These observations become the base data for the “Map of Joseon’s East Coast” compiled by the Russian navy in 1857.
  • 1855 (6th year of King Cheoljong of Joseon)
  • On the 25th day of the 4th lunar month, a British fleet reports having sighted Dokdo, and the crew names the island the Hornet Rocks after a British naval vessel.
  • 1870 (7th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • In the 12th lunar month of 1869, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials who were sent to Joseon on a secret surveying mission return home. They submit their report entitled “A Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korean Foreign Relations” in the 4th lunar month of 1870. This report lays out in detail the entire historical background as to ‘how Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo) became part of Korea’.
  • 1875 (12th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • In the 11th lunar month, the Advisory Bureau of the Japanese Army publishes “The Complete Map of Joseon.” This Japanese Army map clearly identifies Dokdo as Matsushima (Songdo), reflecting Japan’s understanding that Dokdo, along with Takeshima (Jukdo or Ulleungdo), is Korean territory.
  • 1876 (13th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • The Japanese Navy publishes “Chosen tokaiganzu” (The Map of the East Coast of Joseon). Made for strategic purposes, this map is based on an earlier map that had been completed by the Russian Navy in 1857. Dokdo is identified as a coastal island of Joseon’s alongside Ulleungdo.
  • On the 16th day of the 10th lunar month, as part of a nationwide initiative to complete an official land registry and produce modern maps, the Shimane Prefecture sends an inquiry to the Japanese Home Affairs Ministry asking if Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo) should be included in the map of Shimane Prefecture. After an extensive five-month review of the documents attached to the inquiry submitted by Shimane Prefecture as well as diplomatic documents exchanged between Japan and Joseon in the wake of the An Yong-bok incident, the Home Affairs Ministry conclude that Jukdo and Songdo are part of Joseon’s territory that they have no connection to Japan.
  • Later, a Japanese man named Heigaku Mutoh petitions the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry for permission to develop Matsushima (Songdo). In the 4th and 9th lunar months of 1878, Japan’s Naval Ministry deploys a warship to survey Matsushima only to discover that the island was none other than Ulleungdo. Based on this finding, the Japanese government denies the request.
  • 1877 (14th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 17th day of the 3rd lunar month, despite the Naval Ministry’s ruling that Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and another island (Matsushima or Dokdo) has no connection to Japan, the Home Affairs Ministry raises the issue with Dajokan (The Great Council of State) stating that “disposition of territory is a matter of great importance.” The Ministry presents the Great Council with a memorandum and enclosed documents, and requests a final decision.
  • On the 20th day of the 3rd lunar month, the Dajokan issues the following directive: “As per your inquiry, note that our country has nothing to do with another island beside Takeshima.” The Great Council sends the directive to the Home Affairs Ministry on the 29th day of the 3rd lunar month. On the 9th day of the 4th lunar month, the Ministry forwards the Dajokan’s directive to Shimane Prefecture.
  • 1881 (18th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • Seven Japanese nationals are caught logging on Ulleungdo. Governor of Gangwon Province Im Han-su notifies the royal court of the offense and asks that appropriate measures be taken. On the 22nd day of the 5th lunar month, Joseon’s Office for Extraordinary State Affairs orders diplomatic papers to be prepared and filed with Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, and appoints military officer Yi Gyu-won to lead the investigation into the situation on the island as Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.
  • In the 7th lunar month, Seisei Kitazawa compiles ‘Takeshima kosho’ (A Study of Historical Evidence on Takeshima) as part of research commissioned by the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry. He submits a summary of his findings titled ‘Takeshima hanto shyozokuko’ (Summary of Study on Takeshima) to the Ministry. In 1880, the Japanese government sends a warship on an exploratory mission to Ulleungdo, and in the meantime, instructs Kitazawa to continue his research on the history of Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Kitazawa’s study concludes that in 1699 Matsushima (Songdo) was referred to as Takeshima (Jukdo) or Ulleungdo, and the island is not Japan’s territory. The report also briefly mentions Dokdo as follows: “Besides Ulleungdo, there is another island called Takeshima (Jukdo) which is a very small islet.”
  • 1882 (19th year of Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 7th day of the 4th lunar month, Yi Gyu-won, the incoming Royal Inspector for Ulleungdo appears before the king to bid farewell before leaving on his mission. King Gojong asks him to pay special attention to Usando, Songdo and Jukdo, and to make a map of Ulleungdo. In addition, the king asks Yi to conduct a detailed survey to explore the possibility of building a settlement on the island.
  • On the 5th day of the 6th lunar month, Yi Gyu-won returns to brief the king on the outcome of his investigation. Following his arrival at Ulleungdo on the 30th day of the 4th lunar month, Yi conducted his mission from the 2nd to the 10th day of the 5th lunar month and returned to the port of Gusanpo in Pyeonghae on the 13th day of the 5th lunar month. He advises the king that it is feasible to build a settlement on the island and identifies Nari-dong as a suitable site. Yi reports that, while exploring the region, he spotted a host of illegal logging activities by the Japanese as well as a Japanese marker referring to the island as Matsushima (Jukdo). Yi’s discovery prompts the Joseon government to file a complaint with the Japanese Minister to Korea and Japan’s Foreign Ministry.
  • On the 20th day of the 8th lunar month, upon the advice of Chief High State Councilor Hong Sun-mok, the position of Ulleungdo Chief is established to oversee the island. Royal Inspector Yi Gyu-won recommends Jeon Seok-gyu, a resident of Ulleungdo who hails from Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, to the post.
  • 1883 (20th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 16th day of the 3rd lunar month, Kim Ok-gyun is appointed Commissioner for Development of the Southeastern Islands and Whaling.
  • In the 4th lunar month, the Hydrographic Office of the Japanese Navy Ministry publishes the Territorial Hydrograph Chronicles. Information about Dokdo appears in the second volume of the chronicles titled “The General Situation of Joseon,” clearly reflecting Japan’s view that Dokdo is Joseon’s territory.
  • In the 4th lunar month, the first official settlers, 16 households comprising 54 persons, migrate to Ulleungdo.
  • Later, in the 7th lunar month, the government of Joseon investigates how well these first settlers are managing on the island.
  • 1884 (21st year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 11th day of the 1st lunar month, Kim Ok-gyun, Commissioner for Development of the Southeastern Islands, reports to Joseon’s government that Ulleungdo Chief Jeon Seok-gyu has been colluding with the Japanese to sell timber from the island to Japan. The government issues an order for Jeon’s arrest.
  • On the 15th day of the 3rd lunar month, Joseon’s Office of Military and Domestic Affairs proposes that a government office be established on Ulleungdo and that people should be encouraged to settle on the island to cultivate the land. Joseon’s central government approves the proposal, advises the Governor of Gangwon Province to take the necessary steps, and charges the Local Commander of Samcheok with the additional responsibility of Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.
  • On the 30th day of the 6th lunar month, the Office of Military and Domestic Affairs gives the Governor of Pyeonghae the additional responsibility of serving as Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.
  • 1888 (25th year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 6th day of the 2nd lunar month, Joseon’s central government agrees to reinstate the position of Chief of Ulleungdo upon the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs. A new fort is established in Port Wolseong in Pyeonghae and the Joseon government dispatches a local commander to the fort and assigns him the additional responsibility of carrying out occasional inspections of Ulleungdo as Chief of the island.
  • 1894 (31st year of King Gojong of Joseon)
  • On the 27th day of the 12th lunar month, having cleared sufficient land for farming, the Joseon government permanently ceases to provide supplies for the boats patrolling Ulleungdo.
  • 1895 (32nd year of King Gojong of Joseon, 504th year since dynasty’s foundation)
  • On the 29th day of the 1st lunar month, having suspended the Government Patrol System, Joseon’s central government appoints a separate officer to serve as Chief of Ulleungdo, a post previously held by the Local Commander of Wolseong, upon the advice of Interior Affairs Minister Bak Yeong-hyo. Joseon continues to send ships to the island several times a year to check on the settlers’ progress.
  • On the 16th day of the 8th lunar month, based on the advice of Interior Minister Bak Jeong-yang, Joseon’s central government elevates the position of Chief of Ulleungdo to that of Provost.
  • On the 20th day of the 9th lunar month, Joseon names Ulleungdo resident Bae Gye-ju to the post of Provost of Ulleungdo, an official rank of Level 7~9 within the bureaucratic hierarchy.
  • 1898 (Greater Korean Empire, 2nd year of Gwangmu. Note: In 1896, Gojong proclaims the country the Greater Korean Empire and takes the title of Emperor; his reign thereafter comes to be referred to as Gwangmu.)
  • On May 30, Joseon’s central government announces the appointment of the Governor of Ulleungdo in Imperial Ordinance No. 12 (dated May 26). Only residents of the island are eligible for the post, a position of an official rank of Level 7~9 within the bureaucratic hierarchy.
  • 1899 (Greater Korean Empire, 3rd year of Gwangmu)
  • On December 19, on the advice of Interior Minister Yi Geon-ha, in response to concerns over illegal logging and harassment by the Japanese, the Joseon central government dispatches an inspector, Wu Yong-jeong, to Ulleungdo.
  • 1900 (Greater Korean Empire, 4th year of Gwangmu)
  • On May 31, a joint Korean-Japanese team of inspectors, which include Wu Yong-jeong and Akatsuka Seihou, Consular Attache of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, travel to Ulleungdo to investigate reports of misconduct, illegal logging and unlawful taxation by Japanese. The team also inspects the overall condition of life on the island.
  • On June 15, Wu Yong-jeong files an official report to the Joseon central government suggesting the prompt removal of the Japanese from the island as well as the reorganization of Ulleungdo’s governing body.
  • On October 27, Joseon issues Imperial Ordinance No. 41, thereby changing the name of Ulleungdo to Uldo and changing the role of its provost to that of a county magistrate. As a result, the island becomes the 27th county of Gangwon Province. Under the Ordinance, the county office is established in Taeha-dong and the new county magistrate of Uldo has authority over the entire island, Jukdo (Daetseom) and Seokdo (Dokdo).
  • The incumbent Provost, Bae Gye-ju, becomes the first county magistrate of Uldo. The central government divides Ulleung-gun (county) into Nam-myeon and Buk-myeon, with Dokdo belonging to Nam-myeon.
20th century
  • 1904 (Greater Korean Empire, 8th year of Gwangmu)
  • On February 10, Japan declares war on Russia.
  • On February 23, Joseon is forced to sign the first Korea-Japan Protocol, which gives Japan the right to occupy and expropriate Korean territory in support of its war against Russia.
  • On August 22, Joseon is forced to sign the first Korea-Japan Agreement, which authorizes Japan to install financial and foreign affairs advisers within the Joseon government.
  • On September 1, Japan completes construction of watchtowers on Ulleungdo to look out for Russian warships in the East Sea. The watchtowers, two in the southeast and two in the northeast with 7 men assigned to each tower, go into operation on September 2.
  • On September 24, the Japanese warship Nitaka-maru sails for Dokdo on a mission to assess the feasibility of building a watchtower on the island. The Nitaka-maru reports that a watchtower can be constructed on Dokdo and mentions that “Koreans refer to the Liancourt Rocks as Dokdo whereas Japanese fishermen use the name Riankoshima”.
  • On September 29, Japanese fisherman Nakai Yosaburo files a petition with the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry, Interior Ministry and Agriculture and Commerce Ministry for Japan to “incorporate the Liancourt Rocks as Japanese Territory and lease the island” to him.
  • On November 20, the Japanese battleship Tsushima-maru reaches Dokdo and begins work on a survey of Dokdo to assess the feasibility of installing a telegraph relay station and running underwater cables around the island.
  • 1905 (Greater Korean Empire, 9th year of Gwangmu)
  • On January 28, Japan approves the petition filed by Nakai Yosaburo and unilaterally declares Dokdo as being uninhabited. Japan’s government announces that the island will be called Takeshima and will be incorporated as part of Oki Island in Shimane Prefecture.
  • On February 22, the Japanese government drafts a document known as the Shimane Prefecture Notice 40, in which it claims that Japan has met all the conditions of international law for acquiring and occupying a presently uninhabited land. There is no evidence, however, that this ordinance was ever publicly announced.
  • On May 17, Japan enters Dokdo as government-owned property in the official land register of Shimane Prefecture.
  • On June 13, a Japanese warship sails for Dokdo on a mission to assess the feasibility of building a watchtower there.
  • On July 16, a northern watchtower is built on Ulleungdo and goes into operation on August 16 with 11 guards and employees in place.
  • On August 19, construction on a watchtower on Dokdo is completed and the post goes into operation that same day, with four guards and two other employees.
  • On September 5, the Treaty of Portsmouth (the Russo-Japanese treaty) is signed, under which foreign powers recognize Japan’s rights over Korea.
  • On October 8, Japan finishes laying an underwater cable between the northern watchtower on Ulleungdo and the Dokdo watchtower.
  • On November 9, Japan finishes an laying underwater cable between Dokdo and Matsue in Shimane Prefecture.
  • On November 17, Japan forces Joseon to sign the second Korea-Japan Agreement, ceding control of Korea’s foreign affairs to Japan.
  • 1906 (Greater Korean Empire, 10th year of Gwangmu)
  • On February 1, the Greater Korean Empire falls under the control of the Japanese Resident-General upon the establishment of the Residence-General and its 12 regional offices.
  • On March 28, the 4th day of the 3rd lunar month, several Japanese government officials travel to Uldo and inform Sim Heung-taek, Magistrate of Uldo, that they have come to inspect the island as it belongs to Japan. County Magistrate Sim responds by sending an urgent letter to Yi Myeong-nae, Chuncheon County Magistrate and acting Governor of Gangwon Province, informing him of the presence of the Japanese officers on Dokdo.
  • On April 29, Magistrate Yi alerts the Interior Ministry and the State Council. Interior Minister Yi Ji-yong replies that he is shocked to hear of Japan’s claims to Dokdo, calling them nonsensical. State Council Minister Bak Je-sun states that Japan’s claims to Dokdo are unfounded and he orders that a close eye be kept on the situation in Dokdo and the movements of the Japanese there.
  • On September 24, Uldo County is incorporated into the administrative district of Gyeongsangnam Province from Gangwon Province.
After liberation from Japanese colonial rule
  • 1946 (Republic of Korea)
  • In SCAPIN #677, the High Command of the Allied Forces decide to politically and administratively separate Ulleungdo, Dokdo and Jejudo from Japan.
  • 1952
  • In January, Korea releases a Presidential Declaration (on the Peace Line) relating to Korea’s sovereignty over it seas, specifically including Dokdo in Korea’s territory.
  • 1953
  • A voluntary Dokdo Defense Team is mobilized in April (led by Commander Hong Sun-chil) and lands in Dokdo.
  • 1954
  • In August, a lighthouse is erected on Dokdo, the presence of which is notified to all countries.
  • 1965
  • Choe Jong-deok, a resident of Ulleung County goes to live on Dokdo and starts his fishing activities.
  • 1982
  • Dokdo and its vicinity is designated ‘Natural Monument No. 336 Dokdo Sea Algae Habitat’.
  • 1991
  • In December, telephone cables are installed between Ulleungdo and Dokdo.
  • 1997
  • The Dokdo Museum opens its doors. A berth structure is completed on Dokdo.
  • 2000
  • On April 7, Dokdo-ri is established by Ulleung County Ordinance No. 1395. Dokdo’s administrative designation becomes ‘Gyeongsangbuk-do, Ulleung-gun, Ulleung-eup, Dokdo-ri 1~96 (101 lots including split lot numbers)’ from ‘Gyeongsangbuk-do, Ulleung-gun, Ulleung-eup, Dodol-ri San 42~76’.
  • 2003
  • The Ministry of Information and Communication assigns the postal code ‘799-805’ to Dokdo.
  • 2005
  • Lot numbers and land categories are adjusted and lots are reorganized in Dokdo. Addresses are newly assigned in May, in the format ‘Gyeongsangbuk-do, Ulleung-gun, Ulleung-eup, Dokdo-ri 1-96’. ‘Act on the sustainable use of Dokdo’ is legislated.
  • 2007
  • On April 6, Kim Seong-do takes office as the head of Dokdo-ri.
  • On December 13, Presidential Election absentee voting is held on Dokdo for the first time ever.