The Liancourt Rocks sound French, but that’s just because they’re named for a French whaling ship that almost ran aground there in 1849, the first European vessel to see the little islands.

Rauk 6fThey’re actually in East Asia, almost exactly halfway between Japan and South Korea—and thereby hangs a tale.

We still call them the Liancourt Rocks today because these two Asian powers can’t agree on who owns the rocks, or what they should be called, or even what the sea around them is…..