Many Koreans’ ears perked up when U.S. President Donald Trump remarked that Korea was once part of China, quoting a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Seoul says it will seek clarification on that comment and then make whatever response is necessary.
U.S. President Donald Trump's recent interview with the Wall Street Journal sparked a controversy after he said that he was told by the Chinese leader that Korea used to be part of China. The Washington Post said that South Korea was outraged by the American president's remark, and pointed out Donald Trump's poor understanding of history and his thoughtlessness. The South Korean government is trying to figure out if the Chinese president indeed made that remark, or if the U.S. president misunderstood, or if there was a problem in translation.
[Soundbite] Cho Jun-hyuk (Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) : "We are checking the facts via diplomatic channels, including the U.S. and China. The fact that Korea was never part of China is a clear historic fact recognized by the international community."
The Chinese government declined to provide a straightforward answer on the authenticity of the remark.
[Soundbite] Lu Kang (Spokesperson, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs) : "The Korean people don't need to worry about this. I have no way to find out what happened in that situation."
The Korean government plans to take necessary actions upon confirming facts and work toward spreading accurate historic knowledge about Korea in the United States and around the world.