South Korea has demanded Donald Trump correct his statement after saying Korea “used to be part of China” following his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
“It’s a clear fact acknowledged by the international community that, for thousands of years of history, Korea has never been part of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho June Hyuck told Bloomberg News on Thursday in Seoul.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on April 12, Trump said that President Jinping discussed the history of China and Korea.
“And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years … and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China. And after listening for 10 minutes, I realized that not — it’s not so easy,” he recounted.
According to Quartz, there are two times in history that the Korean Peninsula could be mistaken for being part of China.
One was during the Han Dynasty when China created four “commanderies” in the northern part of the peninsula.
Some Chinese historians argue that this makes Korea part of “Chinese local history.”
The second moment was during the Mongol empire’s rule in the 13th century, which included both China and Korea.
But “even then, the Mongols controlled China more directly than Korea,” Kyung Moon Hwang, a history professor at the University of Southern California and author of “A History of Korea,” told Quartz.
“No respectable historian would make such a claim,” Hwang said regarding Korea previously being a part of China.