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Beijing Demands an Apology from Korea

Posted January. 14, 2005 22:43,   


“China’s insincerity is a bigger problem than its disrespect.”

This implies that China is not likely to make a sincere effort, as they also have not done in the past, to resolve the issue of China’s breaking up of the GNP press conference regarding North Korean defectors. For example, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said on January 13, “Korean lawmakers demanded an apology (from China), but actually it is them who owe an apology to us.” However, one government official said, “In the international community, common sense and universal values usually precede domestic laws,” and, “It goes against such common sense that China resorted to force.”

China’s Insincerity is Almost Chronic-

In April of last year, when China eliminated the word “Goguryeo” on the Internet site of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, it didn’t disclose “who did it, when, and why” to Korea after all. In June of the same year, the Chinese government repatriated seven North Korean defectors who wanted to be sent to South Korea. South Korean press reported this news, but Beijing denied it at first. After some 10 days, it finally admitted the truth, but still kept silent about when it did so.

Such an insincere attitude is partly attributable to the South Korean government’s low-profile diplomacy. When the Korean government protested against Japan on issues concerning its colonial rule of Korea or distortion of facts in its history textbooks, the Korean government publicly summoned the Japanese ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, and reported “keen interest and indignation of Korean people.” However, whenever it summons the Chinese ambassador, it keeps the news secret for the sake of Beijing.

In August of last year, Vice Foreign Minister of China Wu Dawei visited Seoul in utmost secrecy to discuss the issue of Goguryeo, the ancient kingdom of Korea that Beijing tried to steal. As Dong-A Ilbo exclusively reported this news, Beijing strongly protested to the Korean government. It conducted security inspections of the Foreign Ministry and even searched for telecommunications information of the journalist.

Hyong-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com