Even though Mr. Kim makes many of the same wild assumptions and jumps to many of the same wrong conclusions as Korea's other "Dokdo" researchers, he does present a great deal of useful information in the book, especially on the settlement of Ulleungdo after Lee Gyu-won's inspection mission in 1882.
In a section of the book entitled, "The Truth of the Settlement of Ulleungdo and its Settlers" (울릉도 개척의 실제와 이주민 실태), there is a paragraph on pages 157 and 158 that I have translated below:
From the beginning, the settlers avoided the seashore and went deep into the valleys to continue the same kind of farming life they had had on the mainland. They plowed fields they had slashed and burned, built dugouts, and worked hard until the winter, but the only thing they got in return was cold and starvation. They could not return to the mainland, so it is said that one after another they starved to death. Actually, if you look at an April 29, 1902 article in the Hwangseong Sinmun (皇城新聞), it says that among the August 1901 Customs Official Dispatch (海關派員士) articles, there was an article that said, “The Japanese population is about 550 people, who are all shipbuilders/loggers (造船伐木者)…. The Koreans are about 3,000 families, but they are all tenant farmers (佃戶農氓).” From this we can know that most of Ulleungdo’s residents at the time were farmers who lived a difficult life of jeon-ho, that is, tenant farming. At that time, they survived on wild edible greens and ggak-sae (a kind of seabird), which were their salvation. In spite of suffering this kind of starvation, it is said that the settlers would not fish. Even though the Japanese were gathering abalone and squid from right under their noses, the settlers did not take notice, and if their children tried to imitate the Japanese by trying to fish, they got their calves beaten until they bled in order to stop them from imitating disgusting sailors. It is said that the people on Ulleungdo did not start trying to fish until after the start of Japanese imperialism. Through testimony saying that the settlers shunned fishing because they came as emigrant farmers, we can determine that instead of Ulleungdo fishermen taking the lead in fishing the waters around Ulleungdo and Dokdo, Japanese fishermen, violating international law, illegally took the lead. We probably have to view the ill-conceived settlement policy at the time as what finally led to Japan’s declaring Dokdo ownerless in 1905 and incorporating it into her territory.As you can see from the above paragraph, the Koreans on Ulleungdo at the turn of the century were not fishermen, and even seemed to despise the profession, so they would have had little or no reason or desire to travel to Liancourt Rocks. In fact, the paragraph says that they avoided even settling on the shores of Ulleungdo and would not fish in spite of starving. It also says that the Koreans did not start fishing until "after the start of Japanese imperialism," which stongly suggests that it was the Japanese who first introduced Koreans to Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima). Here is a link to an appendix of a 1902 Japanese trade document, which described Koreans on Ulleungdo in much the same way as Mr. Kim did above.
개척민들은 처음부터 해변을 피하고 깊은 산골로 들어가 뭍에서와 같은 농촌생활을 이어가려고 했다. 그들은 화전을 일구고 움막을 짓고 겨울이 오기 전까지 열심히 일했으나 찾아온 것은 굶주림과 추위였다. 육지로 되돌아갈 수도 없어 굶어죽는 사람들이 잇따랐다고 전한다. 실제 “황성신문”[皇城新聞] 1902년 4월 29일자의 기사를 보면 1901년 8월 해관파원사(海關派員士) 기사 가운데 “일본인구 약 550인이 모두 조선벌목자 (朝鮮伐木者)이고 (중략) 한민(韓民)은 대략 3,000구에 이르나 모두 전호농맹(佃戶農氓)이라”고 한 것은 당시 울릉도민이 대부분 농업을 생업으로 하고 전호, 즉 소작농으로 존재하면서 어려운 생활을 하였음을 알 수 있다. 이때에 개척민들의 목숨을 이어준 것이 명이라는 산나물과 깍새였다. 이 같은 굶주림에 시달려도 개척민은 물고기를 잡지 않았다고 한다. 일본인들이 코 앞에서 전복과 오징어를 거두어 가도 거들떠보지 않았고 아이들이 일본인을 흉내 내어 고기를 잡으면 종아리에 피가 맺히도록 때려 비린 뱃사람 흉내를 내지 못하게 했다. 그러다가 울릉도 사람들이 고기잡이에 손을 대기 시작한 것은 일본 제국주의시대에 들어와서 이루어졌다고 한다. 개척민이 농업이민이었기 때문에 어업에 종사하는 것을 꺼렸다는 증언을 토해 독도를 비롯한 울릉도 해역의 어업은 울릉도 어민의 주도하에 이루어지지 않고 알본어민들이 국제법을 위반하면서 불법적으로 주도하게 되었음을 알 수 있다. 이러한 잘못된 개척정책으로 인해 결국 1905년 일본이 독도를 ‘무주지(無主地)’라고 하여 자국의 영토에 편입시킬 수 있었다고 보아야 할 것이다.