SEOUL: South Korea said yesterday it would rename peaks on islands disputed with Japan in an attempt to reassert its sovereignty over the territory after a decades-long dispute flared up again this summer.
The two main peaks at the rocky outcrops roughly midway between two nations will be renamed to highlight historical evidence of South’s centuries-long ownership, the land ministry said.
The row over the Seoul-controlled islands -- called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan -- boiled over in August when the South’s President Lee Myung-Bak made a surprise visit to them.
Tokyo said the trip to the islands, the first ever by a South Korean president, was deliberately provocative.
One of the two peaks will be named “Usan” after its ancient title dating back to the Joseon dynasty that ruled Korea from 1392 to 1910, the ministry said in a statement.
The other will be named “Daehan”, South Korea’s official name in Korean. The peaks were previously called the East and the West hills.
“The move is aimed at firmly asserting our territorial sovereignty over Dokdo,” said the ministry.
Textbooks, maps and Internet websites would use the new names beginning today, it said.