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Xi Jinping says Korea was a part of China

Posted April. 20, 2017 07:07,   

Updated April. 20, 2017 07:14

It has been reported that during a two-day summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on April 6 and 7, Xi said Korea had been a part of China and Trump showed a gesture of consent. After the news was delivered, it has provoked a controversy in South Korea.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on April 12, Trump reportedly said, “(Xi) then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years …and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China.”

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it's not so easy,” said Trump. Trump’s comments had not been published by the Wall Street Journal right after the interview and instead a full transcript of the interview was uploaded later on its website.

In regard to the conversation between two leaders, U.S. online news publisher “Quartz” said on Tuesday, "Trump weirdly says Korea was “part of China,” which is totally wrong and could enrage South Korea." Korea was temporarily occupied by China for a few years when the Han Chinese set up its military bases in the Northern part of Korea before the birth of Christ or during the expansion of the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century. However, Korea was hardly a part of China at every angle.

Trump has also been criticized for his confusion of differentiating former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il from his son and current leader Kim Jong Un. His fundamental awareness of issues related to North Korea has been questioned. In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had been talking with this gentleman, referring to Kim Jong Un. However, it was Kim Jong Il whom Clinton met.

In-Chan Hwang hic@donga.com