Educational Websites Contain Flawed History Maps

SEOUL, May 16 (Korea Bizwire) — The Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), an internet-based organization, stated yesterday that 16 well-known educational websites such as Britannica and Wikipedia have included the area of the former Korean kingdom Goguryeo as part of China’s Han Dynasty on their websites.

On Britannica’s official website (, the area denoted in Chinese history as Han Dynasty (BC 206-220) included the region of Goguryeo (BC 37-668).

On its website for kids (, the region north of South Jeolla Province was similarly depicted as part of Han territory.

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia ( and the Ancient History Encyclopedia ( both introduce land that is currently part of North Korea as part of the former Han Dynasty, depicted on the world map.

The website of TimeMaps ( has highlighted the lands north of Jeolla and South Gyeongsang Provinces as belonging to Han.

Nations Online, a website that provides information on world history ( and Crossing the Ocean Sea ( indicate most of Korea as Han domain.

VANK suggests that this is all related to China’s efforts to make Goguryeo part of its own history. “If we don’t do anything about these maps, people all over the world will think that Goguryeo is part of China’s history.

This will later enable the world’s youth to support China’s “Northeast Project.” VANK intends to promote a digital world map that introduces the history of Goguryeo and the territory of Korea’s ancient dynasties.

Ashley Song (

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Foreign websites mark Goguryeo as Han’s territory on maps

SEOUL, May 15 (Yonhap) — A South Korean civic organization said Tuesday it has found that many renowned world dictionaries and history education websites wrongly mark Korea’s ancient Goguryeo Kingdom as part of the territory of China’s Han Dynasty on their world maps.

Goguryeo was the ancestral kingdom (37 B.C.-668 A.D.) that occupied half of the Korean Peninsula and part of northeastern China, but in recent years, China has suddenly claimed the kingdom as part of its ancestry under what it calls the “Northeast Asia Project.” Han lasted from 206 B.C.-220 A.D.

“We’ve found 16 famous websites include Goguryeo within Han’s territory in their atlases,” said Park Ki-tae, head of the Seoul-based Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), which internationally promotes Korea and its history online.

Such websites include Britannica, Wikipedia, TimeMaps, Nations Online, Crossing the Ocean Sea, Groiler Online and Emperor Heaven, he said.

“The incorrect marks have something to do with China’s Northeast Asia Project. People around the world will recognize Goguryeo as China’s history in the end if the maps are left unattended,” he said.

Goguryeo’s old castles provide clues for ancient history

“One of the old names of Goguryeo was ‘Guru,’ which meant a ‘castle,'”said Won Jong-seon, head of China Office at HiKorea and a director of the Dalian Korean International School. “This is why mountain castles cannot be left out in explaining Goguryeo’s culture, and also why I became infatuated with the castles, the best place to feel the spirit of the vast empire of Goguryeo.”

He was in utter love with the mountain castles of the old Korean kingdom, Goguryeo. For more than three years, he visited all of the 73 castles of Goguryeo located in Liaodong, China, and recorded them in photographs and writing. Interestingly enough, this is not a story of a historian. Won, who recently published a book titled “Going to Liaodong to find Goguryeo’s mountain castles,”met with this reporter for an interview at the Dong-A Media Center in central Seoul.

Won moved to Hangzhou for the business purpose of trading with Chinese partners in 2001. It was when he went to see the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal that he began his own journey to explore the old Goguryeo’s mountain castles.

The book runs through the entire history of Goguryeo from the beginning to end by presenting vivid photographs and maps of the old kingdom’s castles such as Wunü Shan, the birthplace of Goguryeo built by Jumong, the founding monarch of the kingdom; Liaodong-castle, which protected people against the invasion of the Sui Dynasty; and Ansi-castle, where the soldiers of Goguryeo renewed their strong determination to continue their fight even after the Tang Dynasty took Goguryeo in 668.

Also noteworthy is that Won found out 13 additional castles of Goguryeo that had been unknown, including Guryeon-castle and Bokjugo-castle. “Won’s study would serve as a milestone that gives us clues in restoring Korea’s ancient history,”said Korean philosopher Kim Young-oak who wrote a recommendation for the book.

Won-Mo Yu

[PyeongChang 2018] Top trending words on PyeongChang opening ceremony_Inmyeonjo

Inmyeonjo (Human-faced bird)

Inmyeonjo is a human-faced bird that appears in tomb paintings from Korea

Seoul Baekje Museum exhibits mural tombs of Goguryeo

Mural tombs and murals in tombs of an ancient kingdom scattered across Jian, China, and Pyongyang in North Korea can be seen in Seoul.
The Seoul Baekje Museum holds a special exhibition on mural tombs of Goguryeo until Feb. 26. The exhibition will have a mockup of a Goguryeo mural tomb and the replica of murals in tombs. Around 120 mural tombs made between the 4th and 7th centuries have been excavated in China and North Korea.

The murals have shown the sophisticated architectural methods of the ancient kingdom and the life of the people. Anak No.3, a large tomb, is available in a mock-up and also in VR experience, allowing visitors to see the tomb with special eyeglasses. Admission to the museum is free.

Bae-Jung Kim


North Korean Regime Reveals Discovery of Ancient Royal Tomb in Rare International Announcement

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea claims that they have found an ancient royal tomb deep underground in a recluse state. The regime released a rare, English-language statement announcing that local archaeologists discovered the royal burial site of the Goguryeo Dynasty (918-1392) in its border city of Kaesong.

The Discovery of the Royal Burial Site
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the mausoleum of Suk Jong (1054 – 1105 AD), the fifteenth king of Goguryeo (Goryeo), a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, was unearthed recently in Sonjok-ri of Kaesong, the ancient capital of the dynasty as Yonhap News reports. The English-language statement mentioned:

“A research group of the Korean National Heritage Preservation Agency, together with researchers of the Global Environmental Information Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, analyzed the space distribution features about the places in which mausoleums of the kings of Goguryeo might exist and succeeded in finding out the exact location of Suk Jong’s mausoleum. In union with researchers of the National Heritage Preservation Office in Kaesong City and Goguryeo Museum, they conducted excavation in Sonjok-ri for over 20 days from last May to June to find out his mausoleum.”

Suk Jong was the third child of Mun Jong and reigned for a decade from 1096 to 1105. He oversaw various internal innovations, including the distribution of the country’s first brass coins (in 1102) and the construction of the new Southern Capital.

The Ancient Complex of Goguryeo Tombs in North Korea
Despite the strict regime in the country, this is not the first time a discovery of significant archaeological value has taken place there. As previously reported in another Ancient Origins article, the Complex of Goguryeo Tombs, also known as Koguryo tombs, is an impressive ancient site, which became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be listed in North Korea when it was inscribed in July 2004. The complex consists of several group and individual tombs, dating to the later period of the Goguryeo Kingdom, and are the most well-known cultural heritage remains of the Kingdom. Many of the Goguryeo tombs contain beautiful wall paintings, which offer us a glimpse into the lives of the people living in the ancient Goguryeo Kingdom.

The Goguryeo Kingdom was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and existed between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD. At its height of power in the 5th century AD, its territory included northeast China and the northern half of the Korean peninsula. The Goguryeo Tombs are located in the cities of Pyongyang and Nampho.

The tombs are built of stone and covered by earthen mounds or more stone. Many of the Goguryeo tombs in the World Heritage Site contain beautiful wall paintings, most of which are produced with Chinese ink and pigments painted onto the plastered interior walls of the burial chambers. The paintings cover a wide range of subjects, which include portraits of the tomb owner, activities of everyday life, mythical beings and supernatural creatures, as well as decorative designs, such as the lotus flower. Thus, these images allow some understanding of this people’s daily life, aesthetic appreciation, and even religious beliefs.
The portraits of the tomb owners bring to life the faces of many of the ancient inhabitants of the Goguryeo Kingdom. For instance, in the Anak Tomb No. 3, there is a portrait of its owner, Dong Shou, who was the last ruler of the Daifang Commandery of Han China. In the painting, Dong Shou is depicted as wearing Chinese costume and sitting upon a throne of state under a canopy, where he attends to the reports of his subordinate officials. Despite the presence of Dong Shou’s name, biography, and dates, there are alternative theories regarding the actual owner of the tomb, which are still being argued even today.

Not Many Details Revealed for the Newest Discovery
As it was expected, the strict regime of North Korea hasn’t revealed very few details about the new find. The KCNA, however, revealed that the size of the mausoleum, located in the middle of what could be described as a low slope area on a mountain, is about 29 meters long north-south by 13 meters wide west-east, as Yonhap News reports, pointing out that the tomb has three sections, which are divided by four west-east embankments. “The Archaeology Society of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) ascertained that the heritage was the mausoleum of Suk Jong. It is of great significance in making clear the developed culture of Goryeo,” the KCNA stated.


Exploitation for history distortion feared in N. Korea-China excavation of N.K. relics

“Joint excavation by North Korea and China could pose the risk of possible exploitation in history distortion by China, such as DongBuk GongJeong (China’s historical research project on Northeast Area). “Against this backdrop, the South Korean archeological community must step up efforts to take part in (excavation of) historical relics in North Korea,” Korea University archeology professor Choi Jong-taik told at an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo. “There are cases in which China reinstated relics from the Goguryeo and Balhae kingdoms of Korea sitting within its territory in the style of (China’s) Tang Dynasty style. Similarly, China could emphasize and exaggerate the roles of Chinese culture in North Korean relics more than the fact.”

With expectations running high on the resumption of inter-Korean cultural exchange following the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in administration, the South Korean Archeological Society recently decided to found an Inter-Korean Archeological Association. Choi, a veteran scholar who excavated the Mount Acha bastion of the Goryeo Dynasty in Seoul and who visited North Korea several times, is leading the effort to found the association.

The South and North Korean archeological community jointly excavated the Kaesong inter-Korean industrial park site in 2004, relics of the Goguryeo Kingdom in Pyongyang in 2005, and the Anhakgung Palace in Pyongyang in 2006. Then, the (South Korean) National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and the North Korea Central History Museum conducted joint excavation of the site of a Goryeo royal palace (Manwoldae) in Kaesong from 2007, which was suspended due to the North’s fourth nuclear test in January last year.

As a result, in lieu of South Korea, China is effectively spearheading joint excavation of relics in the North. In fact, after the Yanbian University in China and the archeological research institute under the (North Korean) Academy of Social Sciences conducted joint excavation of Nangrang brick tombs at the village of Namsa in Pyongyang in 2010-2011, before excavating a Goguryeo tomb at the village of Honam within Samseok area in Pyongyang in 2013. Last year, the two sides conducted joint excavation of a mural painting tomb from the Goguryeo Dynasty, which is situated at the village of Cheondeok, Bongsan County in Hwanghae Province. Some experts say the very fact that North Korea, which claims that Nangrang Force was formed by Emperor Muje of China’s Han Dynasty, has jointly excavated tombs from Nangrang in Pyongyang, is unusual in itself.

Sang-Un Kim


korean dagger

While working as a Washington correspondent, there have been a number of awkward situations. One of them was when I read a piece by an American scholar at Sasakawa Peace Foundation in 2015. The author wrote, “The least bad policy option for Japan to pursue is maintenance of the status quo while endeavoring to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs as best it can. A divided Korea breaks the Korean dagger aimed at the heart of Japan.”

The report also states, “Japan prizes stability on the Korean Peninsula and fears the possibility of a potentially hostile, possibly nuclear-armed, united country across the sea.”

A nuclear-armed united Korea hostile to Japan is beyond the boundary of imagination. Why would a unified Korea have nuclear weapons? Will the international community condone a unified Korea to possess nuclear weapons? Why does he call a unified Korea a “dagger aimed at the heart of Japan?” When I met with a U.S. state department official last year and mentioned the “dagger,” he nonchalantly said Japan often makes similar arguments.

In retrospect, the main military of all Korean dynasties in Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula was deployed towards the north, not the south. Goguryeo (37 BC — AD 668) and China had constant wars, and Unified Silla (668-935) focused its military strength on the war against Tang after the Maechoseong Battle. Goryeo (918-1392) also fought with the Liao Dynasty. In Korean history, the south has always been free of conflict.

In Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula, Korean ancestors had to constantly fight wars against China’s dynasties and other tribes. In the meantime, Japan, an island nation, remained a safe zone. China’s Sui, Tang, Liao, Yuan and Qing dynasties fought countless battles against Korea in Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula, but all wars ended at the peninsula.

The damages China sustained were such that it could not afford to push down to Japan.

In the end, the Korean Peninsula was the seawall that prevented Chinese forces from moving southward to Japan. Japan is the one that tried to expand through the Korean Peninsula with invasions and forced annexation.

Perceiving Korea as a potential threat that could joins force with the continent is an extension of the absurd idea that Korea is a part of China. As long as Japan adheres to its strange theory of considering Korea a threat, Japan can never be a great power. History tells us otherwise. Anyone can see the truth by looking at Korean history.

JoongAng Ilbo, July 11, Page 30

*The author is a Washington correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.


Try wearing a Gogurye costume!!

By the end of the year, Guri City, Gyeonggi Province, will host a Goguryeo costume experience program at the
museum ‘The Goguryeo Blacksmith Town’.

This program is conducted in the way that the tourist commentator explains the clothes of King Koguryo, Queen, Noble,

We can experience from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Animated film used in NK unification charm offensive

North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has been broadcasting a
historical, three-part animated movie called ‘Gojumong.’
Following Kim Jong Un emphasis on the need to improve North-South relations in his 2017 New Year

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