August 13, 2004
Government Information Agency
In connection with the Chinese attempt to distort and misrepresent facts of history about the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BC-AD 668), the government has established a fundamental policy that there is absolutely no room whatsoever for compromise on the issue. The Korean government will take all necessary counter-measures.
During a regular briefing session on August 11, Foreign Minister Ban Ki-mun said, The government will continue to ask China to stop the distortion and demand necessary rectifications (of the Chinese misrepresentation).
He further noted, The government will deal sternly with any attempts to incorporate the history of the Korean kingdom into that of China and that his ministry will continue to make diplomatic efforts to prevent further distortions, including possible misrepresentations about the Korean kingdom in Chinese school textbooks.
Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan addressed the same issue at the latest National Affairs Policy Coordination meeting, calling for the need to pursue the strategy along the three avenues: 1. Deal with China, 2. Inform/educate Korean people, and 3. Promote the Korean position worldwide. For a more effective campaign, the Prime Minister gave instructions to survey history textbooks of other countries and launch a nationwide campaign to raise public awareness about old kingdoms, including Goguryeo, in Korean history.
To win international support for the issue, the government will provide local history research groups, such as the Goguryeo Kingdom Research Foundation, with their research funds to help publish the results of research on a regular basis. The government also plans to sponsor international academic conferences to effectively promote Korea’s position.
Other measures will include expanding Korean history courses at secondary schools, bolstering Korean history at the next school curriculum review, and making Korean history a prerequisite in civil servant employment tests.
For its part, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will set up a task force comprising government and civilian experts to develop and strengthen academic evidence concerning the facts of history about the Goguryeo Kingdom.