what's in a label?

There are couple of controversies brewing. One over Chinese place names for a mountain in North Korea, and a far more momentous and contentious discussion about the Northern Limit Line.

First, President Roh signaled that the Northern Limit Line is just a line, not a border. This was not a welcome statement, especially from relatives of sailors killed defending it:

On Thursday, Roh said the sea line is a “one-sided” military division, not a territorial boundary. The remarks prompted discomfort in the military establishment and anger among family members who have had relatives killed in clashes with the North over the sea border.
The Blue House scrambled to avoid a potential rift with the military yesterday. “There can be different views,” said Blue House Spokesman Cheon Ho-seon, “but there are no differences on the big picture. The government’s position has not changed. The Northern Limit Line is the actual sea border.”
Finding the issue visibly difficult, the defense minister finally said, “It is my understanding that the president was not focusing on the territorial issue, but was talking about the character and background of the Northern Limit Line.”
Military sources said yesterday that the armed forces are upset, especially the Navy, which is charged with defending the Northern Limit Line and has lost sailors in clashes with the North in recent years.
Unlike active duty soldiers, who find it difficult to criticize the commander-in-chief, the Korean Retired Generals and Admirals Association had no trouble expressing their concern over the president’s remarks.
“It’s very shocking that the top commander of the military makes such remarks. It’s shocking to a point that we don’t know what to do,” said Lee Jung-rin, a former vice defense minister.


China, meanwhile, is also seeking to erase some lines.


donga.com [english donga]: "Park said that China’s “Northeast Project” is influencing Chinese maps. China formed a Changbaishan cultural research association in 2000 that designated Mt. Baekdu as a “key birthplace of Chinese culture” and the “symbol of Northeast culture and spirit of Northeast Chinese people.” China may be trying to include the history of the ancient Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo and Balhae to its history in the process. Woosuk University professor Cho Beob-jong, who majored in the history of the Goguryeo Kingdom and who has been incessantly criticizing China’s Northeast project, said, “What underlies the China’s Changbaishan culture theory is a sinister plan to absorb the history of eastern Inner Mongolia, far eastern Russia, and the Korean peninsula.” He added, “Given the seriousness the matter, it is likely that China’s textbooks and publications might be assisting in that plan. We need to consider establishing a task force in the Foreign Ministry dedicated to correcting any entity that uses the incorrect name in reference to the East Sea, Dokdo islets, and Mt. Baekdu.”"

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