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China Deletes Ancient Korean History on Web Site
China on Thursday deleted all the content on Korea's ancient history on its Foreign Ministry Web site despite mounting pressure from the Seoul government to correct Beijing's alleged distortion of Korean history.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry conveyed disappointment to its Chinese counterpart through diplomatic channels, asserting it ignored the calls to correct the incorrect description of ancient Korea.
``The Beijing government informed us that it will remove content on ancient Korea in an introduction to Korean history on its Web site last Monday,'' Shin Bong-kil, the ministry spokesperson said. ``Today, they made the deletion.''
Shin further said that Beijing also removed the section on ancient Japan, leaving only content on Japan's post-World War II period on its Web site.
China's decision was likely intended to reduce unnecessary diplomatic friction with the Seoul government, but its failure to meet the Seoul government's demand for the correction of China's alleged distortion of history regarding the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, looks to create further waves.
In the Chinese Internet site (www.fmprc.gov.cn), the Korean history section now covers only Korea's modern history dating back to the establishment of its government in Aug. 15, 1948.
Ever since China's Foreign Ministry deleted Koguryo (37 B.C.-668 A.D.), one of the three kingdoms of ancient Korea, on its Web site in April, South Korea has been repeatedly urging China to restore the online contents to their original form.
The spokesman said his ministry firmly stated to China that Koguryo is an integral part of Korean history, which cannot be doubted.
Meanwhile, China's move came right after the Seoul government decided to send high-ranking officials to Beijing to lodge a strong protest against a series of historical twists made by China.
Recently, the historical distortion involving Koguryo expanded well into the history textbooks used in universities in China.
Park Joon-woo, director general of Asia-Pacific Bureau at the Foreign Ministry left for Beijing yesterday to meet his counter part and other officials to discuss the Koguryo issue.
``I will discuss the Koguryo issue with Chinese government officials,'' Park told The Korea Times. ``I will strongly demand Beijing immediately restore the removed content on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Web site to the original.''
During the three-day trip, Park will also discuss skewed Korean history in textbooks as well as other bilateral issues. But he will make the historical matter top priority as the government repeatedly pledged to take countermeasures to the Koguryo issue.
On Monday, during a meal together, Park reportedly criticized visiting Chinese reporters who said they cannot understand why Koreans are so sensitive over the Chinese government's dealing with Koguryo.