Government, party to form panel on Goguryeo
Government officials and lawmakers
agreed yesterday to work together in forming an inter-agency to deal formally
with countermeasures to China`s distortion of the history of the ancient
Members of the ruling Uri Party, including floor leader Chun Jung-bae, called
on Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Soo-hyuck for a rare meeting to discuss the issue
and come up with what could be done jointly.
They agreed the government had to take a strong stance on the issue and
actively pursue correction of the records on Goguryeo, an ancient Korean kingdom
which controlled the upper part of the Korean peninsula from 37 B.C. to 668 A.D.
Much of it is now in China`s Manchuria, still home to millions of ethnic
A review is underway to see who should oversee the proposed joint
inter-agency, officials said. It is most likely to be under the umbrella of
either the National Security Council or the Prime Minister`s Office.
The conflict emerged as a diplomatic issue between Seoul and Beijing earlier
this year after a state-funded Chinese research project claimed Goguryeo was a
provincial government of China.
That claim led to the latest Chinese move last week to delete from its
Foreign Ministry Web site all references prior to 1948 of Korea`s history,
including the ancient kingdom.
That move has roused fury among Koreans in general, and the lawmakers in
Rep. Chun of the Uri Party said on Friday that the ruling party and the GNP
agreed to organize a parliamentary committee to deal with China`s efforts to
change its views on Korean history.
Fifty-two lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties also submitted a
resolution to the National Assembly, calling on Beijing to halt its distortion
of history and for a joint reaction from South and North Korea.
China`s move is viewed as a major embarrassment to Seoul, which has been
demanding Beijing restore references to Goguryeo that were removed in April from
the introduction to Korean history on the ministry Web site.
Concerned government officials, politicians, scholars and civic group leaders
will meet this week for a symposium on the Goguryeo dispute, the legislators
By Choi Soung-ah
(Korea Herald 2004-8-10)