Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fake news: "Korea used to be part of China"

As reported widely in Korea's domestic media, including The Chosun Ilbo, U.S. President Donald Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal claimed that "Korea actually used to be a part of China."  His claim was based, he said, on conversations he had with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping.
As readers of this blog will know, I've had a longstanding interest in how mainstream media cover, or do not cover, Korea and what this means for government policymaking. (see these posts, for example)   However, this comment by President Trump is still astonishing.  The truth is that the northeastern area of China used to be part of Korea.  Also, it is worth remembering that Korea's history as a unified nation state, with its own distinctive culture and language, goes back thousands of years.  Korea is not and never was a part of China, although it shares many characteristics.   Likewise, it was only a part of Japan during the first half of the 20th century because of forceful occupation.  President Trump's astonishing claim will only further cement his reputation as the source of "Fake News."

1 comment:

  1. The foundation of Korea and China as their current national entities did not exist until the 20th century, which makes any statement about "used to be part of" inaccurate by default. Neither existing country was part of the other.
    That said, there are millions of cultural and linguistic Koreans living in China and saluting the flag of the People's Republic of China. These "Chosun Jok" are mostly descendants of a kingdom that existed prior to Korea or China. I agree it included the Korean peninsula and parts of northern China. Thank you for posting this, Jim!