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Ulleungdo
Ulleung island from above.jpg
NASA Landsat7 image of Ulleung-do (north at top).
Elevation 984 m (3,228 ft)
Location East Sea (Sea of Japan)
Prominence 984 m (3,228 ft)
Coordinates 37°30′N 130°52′E / 37.5°N 130.867°E / 37.5; 130.867Coordinates: 37°30′N 130°52′E / 37.5°N 130.867°E / 37.5; 130.867
Type Stratovolcano
Last eruption 7350 BC (?)
Korean name
Hangul 울릉도
Hanja 鬱陵島
Revised Romanization Ulleungdo
McCune–Reischauer Ullŭngdo

Ulleungdo (also spelled Ulreungdo; Korean pronunciation: [ulːɯŋdo]) is a South Korean island in the East Sea (Sea of Japan). Formerly known as Dagelet to the Europeans, Ulleungdo is about 120 km (75 mi) east of the Korean Peninsula. Volcanic in origin, the rocky steep-sided island is the top of a large stratovolcano which rises from the seafloor, reaching a maximum elevation of 984 metres (3,228 ft) at Seonginbong Peak. The island consists primarily of trachyandesite rock. A major explosive eruption about 9,350 years ago reached a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 6 and deposited tephra as far as central Honshū over 800 km (500 mi) away, while producing pyroclastic flows on the island and decapitating its top to form a caldera.

The island of Ulleungdo has an area of 73.15 km2 (28.24 sq mi) with about 10,000 inhabitants. It makes up the main part of Ulleung County, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. The main city of Ulleungdo is the port of Dodong, which serves as the main ferry port between Ulleungdo and the Korean mainland. Ulleungdo is a popular tourist site. The other main economic activity is fishery, including the harvest of cuttlefish, which can be seen drying in the sun in many places on Ulleungdo. Most Koreans know the island for its cuttlefish.

Contents

History

Archaeological evidence indicates that the island has been inhabited since the 1st millennium BC. The first confirmed historical reference to Ulleungdo is in the Samguk Sagi for the year 512. In that year, the Silla general Kim Isabu conquered the island, which had previously been the autonomous nation of Usan-guk. Some accounts relate that he used a number of wooden lions to intimidate the population, threatening to turn them loose unless they surrendered.

Usan-guk did not remain under the Silla yoke, however, and the island did not become a permanent political part of Korea until 930, when it was annexed by Goryeo. Remote as it is from the Korean mainland, Ulleungdo was a recurrent security headache for the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. It was devastated by Jurchen pirate raids in the 11th century, and by Wokou pirate raids in the 14th century. A clash with Japan over fishing rights in the 1690s was precipitated by the Korean fisherman An Yong-bok. In response to these difficulties, Joseon adopted an "empty-island" policy which however proved impossible to enforce. The empty-island policy was officially rescinded in 1881, after which the government sought to encourage additional settlement of Ulleungdo.

Map Ulleung-do.png

Tourism

Favorite activities for tourists are hiking, fishing, and eating hoe (a Korean raw fish dish). Sightseeing boats make regular three-hour circuits about Ulleungdo, departing from the harbor at Dodong and passing by all the points of interest along the coast, including many interesting rock formations and the small neighboring island of Jukdo. Other scenic sites are Seonginbong, the highest peak on the island (984 m); Bongnae waterfall; the "natural icehouse"; and a coastal cliff from which Liancourt Rocks can be discerned in the distance.

See also

References

External links

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