The meaning of its name is "white wing island", since the island resembles a flying ibis with its wings spread.
Given its proximity to North Korea, it has served as a base for intelligence activity by South Korea.. Numerous North Korean defectors have also boated here to escape economic and political conditions in their homeland. In the recent past there have been several naval skirmishes between the two countries in the area, and Kim Jong-Un threatened on 11 March 2013 to wipe it out.
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration (percent sunshine and snowy days)
Owing to the geographical location, Christianity went through Baengnyeong Island ahead of other Korean regions. After the Gabo Reform, Kim Seong-jin was exiled to this island, and the first church in Korea was established in 1896. There are ten churches on the island at the present time.[when?]
During the Korean War, the USAF designated the airfield on Paengyong-do as K-53.
The island was defended by the West Coast Island Defense Task Unit composed of men of the 2d Korean Marine Corps Regiment under the direction of US Marines.
In April 1951 Paengyong-do was used as a staging base for a mission to recover wreckage of a downed Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 near the Chongchon River. On 17 April 1951 a USAF Sikorsky H-19 carried a US/South Korean team to the crash site and they photographed the wreck and removed the turbine blades, combustion chamber, exhaust pipe and horizontal stabilizer. The overloaded helicopter then flew the team and samples back to Paengyong-do where they were transferred onto an SA-16 and flown south for evaluation.
The USAF established a communications interception site on the island in mid-1951 which was used to intercept Chinese military communications.
In December 1951 two Sikorsky H-5s of the USAF 3d Air Rescue Squadron were based on the island and would forward deploy daily to Chodo Airport to operate search and rescue missions before being permanently deployed to Chodo in January 1952. The H-5s were later replaced by the more capable Sikorsky H-19, two of which were based at Chodo and one on Paengyong-do.
On 12 November 1952 several aircraft, believed to be Po-2s, bombed the base in a night attack causing minimal damage.
2010 Baengnyeong incident
The disputed maritime border between North and South Korea in the Yellow Sea: A:United Nations Command-created Northern Limit Line, 1953 B: North Korea-declared "Inter-Korean MDL", 1999 The locations of specific islands are reflected in the configuration of each maritime boundary, including
The South Korean naval vessel ROKS Cheonan sank near the island on 26 March 2010. The 1,200 ton vessel broke in two pieces with nearly half the crew dying (mainly in the stern section) and a little more than half surviving (mainly in the bow section). A multinational investigation concluded that a North Korean torpedo struck the ship.
^Yŏnʼguwŏn, Hanʼguk Kukpang (1999). "Defense white paper". Ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
^Van Dyke, Jon et al. "The North/South Korea Boundary Dispute in the Yellow (West) Sea," Marine Policy 27 (2003), 143-158; note that "Inter-Korean MDL" is cited because it comes from an academic sourceArchived 2012-03-09 at the "Archived copy"(PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-03-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
Malcom and Martz, White Tigers: My Secret War in North Korea, Brassey's. 1996