Socotra Rock

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Socotra Rock
Socotra Rock location map
Socotra Rock location map
Summit depth 4.6m
Translation Ieodo or Iŏdo (이어도/離於島)
Parangdo or P'arangdo (파랑도/波浪島)
Suyan Rock (苏岩礁)
Sogan Rock (蘇岩礁)
Location Yellow Sea
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.

Socotra Rock, also known as Ieodo (Hangul이어도; hanja離於島; MRIŏdo) or sometimes Parangdo (Hangul파랑도; hanja波浪島; MRP'arangdo),[1] is a submerged rock 4.6 metres (15 ft) below sea level (at low tide) located in the Yellow Sea. International maritime law stipulates that a submerged rock outside of a nation's territorial sea (generally 12 nautical miles) can't be claimed as territory by any nation.[2] However, the rock is the subject of a maritime dispute between South Korea, China and even Japan, which considers it to lie within its exclusive economic zone. And China refers to it as Suyan Rock (Chinese: 苏岩礁; pinyin: sūyánjiāo),which means the rock(岩,yán) or reef(礁,jiāo) outside the coastal waters of Jiangsu (苏,sū,the abbreviation), while Japan refers it as the same name in Chinese character. In fact, both China and Japan use Suyan/Sogan Islet for its English name.[3]

The rock is located 149 kilometres (80 nmi; 93 mi) southwest of Marado (just off Jeju island) in Korea.[4] For China, Yushan Island of Zhejiang,[5] is 287 km (178 mi) away from the rock. The rock serves as the foundation for Korean Ieodo Ocean Research Station.[6] A Korean helipad is also located there to allow the research station to be serviced.


sea mount

Both "Parangdo" and "Ieodo" are names for the mythical island which the residents of Jeju island believed housed the spirits of fishermen who perished at sea. The South Korean government has asserted a direct connection between these legends and the modern-day rock, claiming that the traditional saying that "One who sees Parangdo would never return" refers to the danger facing sailors when high waves allow the rock to break the surface.[1][7] Koreans even name the studies about Ieodo as "Ieodology".[8] Socotra Rock's Korean name was officially designated as "Ieodo" on January 26, 2001, by the Korea Institute of Geology.[9]


  • 1900: Socotra Rock is discovered by the British merchant vessel Socotra.[1]
  • 1910: Socotra Rock is surveyed by the British vessel Waterwitch, which measures the depth at less than 5.4 metres (about 18 feet).[7] Vice Admiral Archibald Day, however, wrote in his book The Admiralty Hydrograpic Service, 1795 - 1919 that this survey was 1901 not 1910.[10]
  • 1938: The Japanese government surveys the rock. Plans are laid for a research station, but are cut short by the outbreak of World War II.[7]
  • 1951: A joint team of the Republic of Korea Navy and the Korea Mountain Climbing Association reaches the rock and lowers a bronze marker bearing the legend "Ieodo, Territory of the Republic of Korea" ("대한민국 영토 이어도") onto its surface.[7]
  • 1952: South Korea promulgates the Syngman Rhee line, which defined the country's territorial waters as including Socotra Rock.[11] This was not recognised by the People's Republic of China or other neighbouring countries.
  • 1963: Yuejin shipwreck: The Chinese vessel Yuejin sinks on her maiden voyage en route from Qingdao to Nagoya after being struck by an underwater object. The crew of the ship claimed to have been attacked by a torpedo, causing an international affair. It was later found that due to a navigational error by the crew, the "Yuejin" had actually struck Socotra Rock which was marked on navigational charts at the time.[12] This was not recognized by the Korea or other neighboring countries.
  • 1963 5.1-6.3,Shanghai Riverway Bureau fleet finds the shipwreck 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) southeast of Socotra Rock.[13]
  • 1970: South Korea's Underwater Resource Development Law was enacted, defining Socotra Rock to lie within the country's fourth mining field.[11] This move was not recognised by the PRC.
  • 1984: The rock's location is confirmed by a research team from Cheju National University.[1]
  • 1987: A warning beacon is placed on the rock by South Korea.[7]
  • 1992: Chinese Navy surveyed the Socotra Rock completely for the first time.[14]
  • 1995-2001: the Republic of Korea builds the Ieodo Ocean Research Station on Socotra Rock despite the objections from People's Republic of China. Several overflights of the area have since been made by the PRC surveillance aircraft.[15]
  • 2001: the Korea Institute of Geology officially designates the rock as "Ieodo" on January 26, 2001.[9][16]


According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a submerged reef can not be claimed as territory by any country.[17] However, China and South Korea dispute which is entitled to claim it as part of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).[18]

In September 2006, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang (秦刚) told reporters that China objects to South Korea's "unilateral" activities in the region, referring to Korean science observation facilities on this reef island, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has claimed to be "illegal". However, Chinese reports notes that Qin Gang said the two countries never had a "territorial dispute," not mentioning any islands.[19] In 2013 the PRC clarified their position by stating that China had no dispute with Korea on the issue.[20] The PRC has a dispute with Japan on the Senkaku Islands.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "파랑도". Naver Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2006-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Sightings of Chinese Ships near Ieodo Island Increasing". KBS WORLD. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. (Chinese)中国国情·热词·苏岩礁.2012-03-13. Retrieved 2015-11-15
  4. "" '이어도는 우리 땅' 임을 명확히 하겠다"‥ 영토 표지석 건립 추진" ["We will declare that 'Ieodo is Korean territory'" ─ It will promote the building of landmark stone of territory] (in Korean). 2005-03-22. Retrieved 2015-02-18.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. (Chinese)海洋资源被非法掠夺 中国海洋安全面临挑战. 河南商报. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Guo, Rongxing (2006). Territorial disputes and resource management : a global handbook. New York: Nova Science Pub Inc. p. 226. ISBN 1600214452.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "이어도 소개 (Ieodo sogae, Introduction to Ieodo". KORDI Ieodo Research Station website (This site might have view points in dispute or original research)) (in 한국어). Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-09-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. (Chinese)张良福:《聚焦中国海疆·话说苏岩礁》,Page 255,ISBN 978-7-5027-8578-9
  9. 9.0 9.1 "제주 남방의 이어도와 EEZ(배타적경제수역)포기 (Jeju nambang-ui ieodo-wa EEZ pogi, Ieodo south of Jeju and the surrender of the EEZ)". Dokdo Center website (in 한국어). 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2006-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Day, Vice-Admiral Archibald Day (1967). The Admiralty Hydrographic Service, 1795 - 1919. London: HMSO. p. 200.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 국제법적인 고찰. Ieodo Research Station website (in 한국어). Archived from the original on 2006-07-06. Retrieved 2006-09-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. (Chinese)"1963年5月1日 我国第一艘远洋货轮"跃进号"沉没 ("Yuejin shipwreck" event)". 人民网资料 (People's Daily Online). Retrieved 2006-09-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. (Chinese)"航道工程·第四节:市外工程 (Project list)". 《上海港志》(Shanghai Harbor Records). Retrieved 2006-09-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. (Chinese)沈开江:海军海洋测绘部队东海苏岩礁测量填补空白,海洋科学,1993,(第1期), ISSN 1000-3096
  15. "China Chafes at Korean Observatory on Reef Island". Chosun Ilbo. 2006-09-14. Archived from the original on 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2006-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. (Korean) 한-중 간 이어도 분쟁에 관한 국제법적인 고찰((International)legal consideration to dispute between Republic of Korea and People's Republic of China over Socotra Rock(Ieodo))Monthly Chosun, Chosun ilbo Retrieved on 2006-09-20
  17. "UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA, AGREEMENT RELATING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PART XI OF THE CONVENTION, PART II TERRITORIAL SEA AND CONTIGUOUS ZONE, SECTION 2. LIMITS OF THE TERRITORIAL SEA, Article13 Low-tide elevations". United Nation. 2. Where a low-tide elevation is wholly situated at a distance exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, it has no territorial sea of its own.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Sang-Hun, Choe (November 27, 2013). "China's Airspace Claim Inflames Ties to South Korea, Too". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. (Chinese) 中国反对韩国在苏岩礁海洋观测活动(China objects Korean Observatory on Reef Island)Phoenix TV Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
  20. "China says 'no dispute' with S. Korea over Ieodo in new air zone". Yonhap News Agency. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links