“It’s a clear fact acknowledged by the international community that, for thousands of years in history, Korea has never been part of China,” South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said this Thursday.
Candidates in the running for South Korea’s presidential election weighed in on Trump’s comments. “This is clearly a distortion of history and an invasion of the Republic of Korea’s sovereignty,” conservative Liberty Korea Party candidate Hong Joon-pyo said.
The alternative history lesson may not have been just another example of Trump’s ad-libbing. Some think it may have been fed to him during his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
A representative for Democratic Party of Korea candidate Moon Jae-in demanded to find out the full context of Xi’s comment. Ahn Cheol-soo’s People’s Party said that, if true, it would be regrettable for China to distort history in an international diplomacy setting.
As Bloomberg points out, Chinese dynasties invaded the Korean Peninsula for decades, but South Koreans reject the idea that they were ever ruled by China.