KOREA: CIA fixes factbook on Korean history

CIA descriptions of Korean history edited in response to criticisms and complaints of inaccuracy

Korea Herald
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
 
By Lee Joo-hee
 
The CIA has fixed information regarding South Korea's history on its World Factbook website, a civic group said yesterday.

The CIA has changed its description of Korea from an "independent kingdom for much of the past millennium" to an "independent kingdom for much of its millennia-long history," the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea said.

The original sentence was inaccurate as it insinuated that South Korea's history only began a millennium ago and ignored its Goguryeo (B.C. 37-A.D. 668) and Gojoseon (B.C. 2333-B.C. 108) periods, VANK members said on its website.

"The CIA factbook which is praised for its credibility is used by major governments, education institutes, textbooks, maps and websites all around the globe," a VANK member said, highlighting the importance of its accuracy.

Goguryeo has been at the center of a historical dispute between Korea and China for the past several years.

China has been claiming that Goguryeo, one of the three ancient Korean kingdoms, is part of its own history. It also claims old Joseon and Balhae were part of ancient China.

VANK had sent a letter of protest to the CIA for the misinformation, the members said. Although the CIA did not respond, it has changed the sentence to describe Korea's millennia-long history, they said.