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S. Korean activists swim to disputed islets

08-15-2012 19:20 BJT

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A South Korean group consisting of a singer, actor, professor, and more than 40 university students have swum a relay to a group of islets disputed between South Korea and Japan. At 7:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, the group reached the islets.

Wednesday morning, vicious gusts of wind threatened the Eastern-most Islands of South Korea, including Ulleung Island, located 87.4km west of the disputed islets called Dokdo in Korean. This was the closest our team could get to the Dokdo islets.

What seemed like an impossible dare was accomplished on Wednesday morning. Through harsh weather conditions, South Korean singer Kim Jang-hoon and his team of more than 40 swimmers successfully ended the swimming relay by touching down on Dokdo islands on Wednesday morning.

They swam for more than 47 hours since Monday. This remarkable feat was accomplished on the 67th anniversary of South Korea’s independence from Japan’s colonial rule.

The concert originally planned to take place on the island was cancelled. Kim Jang-hoon tried to come to Ulleung Island, but had to sail directly to the east coast of South Korea instead because of high tides.

Kim Jang-hoon, said to have turned 45 years old on Tuesday, sang an emotional national anthem of South Korea upon hearing the successful touchdown.

On Monday before jumping into the waters, he told local reporters that he wasn’t going to say Dokdo is our territory, as it is undeniably South Korea’s territory. He was simply going to say hello.

The tides also led to cancellation of all ferries to and from Ulleung Island. Many tourists stranded here were proud of Kim Jang-hoon and his team for their feat.

Kwon Sae-man, a tourist, said, “I am very proud of them for reaching Dokdo through the worst weather conditions. It was another chance for us to prove Dokdo is South Korean territory.”

Bae Jae-gook, a tourist, said, “Only people with great determination can swim all the way to Dokdo, especially in this kind of weather. Their determination is really outstanding.”

This makes their team the first group of people to swim from the Korean peninsula to Dokdo, a historical journey that is being applauded by South Koreans online and offline alike.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CCTV.com

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