Socotra Rock location map
|Translation||Ieodo or Iŏdo (이어도/離於島)
Parangdo or P'arangdo (파랑도/波浪島)
Suyan Rock (苏岩礁)
Socotra Rock Coordinates: 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) cannot be claimed as territory by any nation. However, the rock is the subject of a maritime dispute between South Korea, which considers it to lie within its exclusive economic zone, referring to it as Ieodo (이어도/離於島; MR: Iŏdo) or Parangdo (파랑도/波浪島; MR: P'arangdo), and China, which considers it to lie within its exclusive economic zone and refers to it as Suyan Rock (苏岩礁). The rock serves as the foundation for Korean Ieodo Ocean Research Station. A Korean helipad is also located there to allow the research station to be serviced.
The rock is located 149 kilometres (80 nmi; 93 mi) southwest of Marado (just off Jeju island), Korea. For Japan, the island of Torishima, which is 275 km (148 nmi; 171 mi) away, is the closest territory. For China, Yushan Island of Zhejiang, is 287 km (178 mi) away from the rock.
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. Socotra Rock's Korean name was officially designated as "Ieodo" on January 26, 2001, by the Korea Institute of Geology.
- 1900: Socotra Rock is discovered by the British merchant vessel Socotra.
- 1910: Socotra Rock is surveyed by the British vessel Waterwitch, which measures the depth at less than 5.4 metres (about 18 feet). Vice Admiral Archibald Day, however, wrote in his book The Admiralty Hydrograpic Service, 1795 - 1919 that this survey was 1901 not 1910. 
- 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.
- 1951: A joint team of the Republic of Korea Navy and the Korea Mountain Climbing Association reaches the rock and lower a bronze marker bearing the legend "Ieodo, Territory of the Republic of Korea" ("대한민국 영토 이어도") onto its surface.
- 1952: South Korea promulgates the Syngman Rhee line, which defined the country's territorial waters as including Socotra Rock. 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. 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.
- 1970: South Korea's Underwater Resource Development Law was enacted, defining Socotra Rock to lie within the country's fourth mining field. This move was not recognised by the PRC.
- 1984 The rock's location is confirmed by a research team from Cheju National University.
- 1987: A warning beacon is placed on the rock by South Korea.
- 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.
- 2001: the Korea Institute of Geology officially designates the rock as "Ieodo" on January 26, 2001.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a submerged reef can not be claimed as territory by any country. However, China and South Korea dispute which is entitled to claim it as part of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
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. In 2013 the PRC clarified their position by stating that China had no dispute with Korea on the issue.
- Foreign relations of South Korea
- Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
- Liancourt Rocks
- Diaoyu Islands dispute
- Parangcho, a nearby reef
Notes and references
- "Sightings of Chinese Ships near Ieodo Island Increasing". KBS WORLD. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Guo, Rongxing (2006). Territorial disputes and resource management : a global handbook. New York: Nova Science Pub Inc. p. 226. ISBN 1600214452.
- "海洋资源被非法掠夺 中国海洋安全面临挑战" (in Chinese). 河南商报. 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-10-26.
- (Korean) "이어도 소개 (Ieodo sogae, Introduction to Ieodo". KORDI Ieodo Research Station website (This site might have view points in dispute or original research)). Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2006-09-19.
- (Korean) "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. 2004-06-05. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
- Day, Vice-Admiral Archibald Day (1967). The Admiralty Hydrographic Service, 1795 - 1919. London: HMSO. p. 200.
- (Korean) "국제법적인 고찰". Ieodo Research Station website. Archived from the original on 2006-07-06. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
- (Chinese) ""Yuejin shipwreck" event". People Daily. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
- (Chinese) "Project list". Shanghai Harbor Records. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
- "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.
- (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
- "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."
- Sang-Hun, Choe (November 27, 2013). "China’s Airspace Claim Inflames Ties to South Korea, Too". The New York Times.
- (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.
- "China says 'no dispute' with S. Korea over Ieodo in new air zone". www.globalpost.com. Yonhap News Agency. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.