At 10 years old, Lyoo Chan-hee wishes he wasn't one of the last three schoolchildren left playing on the beaches of Nokdo island.

"It would be great if I have more friends here because I can have more options to play," said Chan-hee. Instead, he often plays with Kim Si-young — aged 66, and one of the last 100 or so residents of a once-vibrant fishing village emblematic of the demographic crisis unfolding in South Korea.

"He (Kim) always calls me and shares whenever he is having something delicious," Chan-hee said on a wind-blown day earlier this month as the pair shared grilled oysters.