In April 2004, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China put up distorted interpretation of Goguryeo(Koguryo)'s history on its web site. In July 2004, the Chinese government registered Goguryeo's relics in China (a part of the Korean history) as 'World Cultural Heritage', and published articles on Goguryeo's history with distorted interpretation ("Goguryeo was an ethnic local government of ancient China") in the government and political party's magazines. Since then, the history of Goguryeo has become a diplomatic issue between the ROK and the PRC.
Prior to this, China began a project called 'A Series of Researches on the History and Current Status of Northeast Borderland', which is also known as the 'Northeast Project'. This five-year project, which began in February 2002, included researches on, but not limited to, the region's history from ancient to modern time, China-Russia relations, as well as the history of Goguryeo.
- In June 2003, China's Guangming Daily and China Daily introduced the overall outline of the Northeast project, claiming that "Goguryeo was an ethnic local government of ancient China".
Our Government considers the Goguryeo history issue as "an overriding task that is directly related to the roots and identity of our nation", and has been taking firm and decisive diplomatic measures against China consistently, urging China to correct its distorted interpretation of the history of Goguryeo.
As a result of such efforts made by our Government, the vice foreign ministers of the two countries reached the verbal agreement on the Goguryeo's history issue in August 2004, which can be summarized as follows :
- There will be no additional distortion of interpretation of Goguryeo's history made by the PRC government. The PRC government will make efforts to correct existing distortions: and
- The academic circles of history of the two countries will make efforts to hold a joint academic conference at an early date, etc..
Our Government urged the Chinese side to take corrective measures according to the verbal agreement on various occasions of high-level consultations between the presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries.
Furthermore, our Government has been urging China consistently to make corrections through various diplomatic channels such as the ROK-China Vice Foreign Ministers' Talks, various working-level consultations, our Embassy in China and the Chinese Embassy in Seoul.
Ever since the verbal agreement was made in August 2004, China's corrective measures thus far have been as follows:
- Central Government
- 1. Alteration of the Foreign Ministry web site's distorted contents (August 2004)
- 2. Deletion of the People's Education Press web site's distorted contents (September 2004)
- 3. Correction of Xinhua News Agency web site's "Cultural Heritage of China" introductory section's distorted contents (January 2005)
- 4. Holding back of official adoption of the "test version" middle school history textbooks (June 2005)
- 5. Deletion of Xinhua News Agency internet edition's distorted article (July 2005)
- 6. Deletion of Xinhua News Agency website's "Cultural Heritage of China" distorted contents(August 2005)
- 7. Addition of a map with Goguryeo as a part of the Korean Peninsula to middle school history textbooks (Chinese History)(July 2006)
- 8. Addition of Korean history(with Goguryeo's history included) to middle school history textbooks (World History) (July 2006)
- 9. Deletion of the distorted introduction of Ji'an City on the State Administration of Cultural Heritage web site (January 2007)
- 10. Deletion of distorted contents in Xinhua News Agency Web site (October 2010)
- 11. Deletion of distorted contents in China Radio International(China Broadcast) (November 2010)
- Local Government
- 1. Deletion of Chinese media (Dalian Daily, Jiangxi TV, etc.) web sites' distorted articles about 'O-nyo(Wunu) Mountain Fortress' in Huanren City (August 2005)
- 2. Removal of 2 sign boards(out of 4) with distorted facts about Goguryeo's history at 'Yongdam(Longtan) Mountain Fortress' (August 2005)
- 3. O-nyo(Wunu) Mountain Fortress in Huanren Perfecture Historic Museum Closed(June 2006)
- 4. Deletion of Huanren County web site's distorted contents (August 2006)
- 5. Removal of a sign board with distorted interpretation of Goguryeo's history at 'Bonghwang(Fenghuang) Mountain Fortress' in Liaoning Province (October 2006)
- 6. Removal of 2 sign boards at 'Yongdam(Longtan) Mountain Fortress' (December 2006)
- 7. Deletion of Distorted Contents of Goguryeo's history in Introduction of Jian City, Jilin Province Museum (December 2006)
- 8. Deletion of distorted contents of Goguryeo's history in World Cultural and Natural Heritage Expo Shenyang China (June 2007)
- 9. Deletion of distorted contents of Goguryeo's history in Benxi City, Liaoning Province Government web site (presumably 2010)
- 10. Deletion of Distorted Contents of Goguryeo's history in Dalian City, Liaoning Province Foreign Affair Office Web site(October 2010)
- Meanwhile, we are urging China continuously to make prompt corrections to the matters that the Chinese side is still reviewing, such as the distorted contents of Chinese Academy of Social Science Website.
Based on our stern position that we will take decisive measures against any attempt to distort our history, our Government will continue efforts to prevent such distortions and make corrections with regard to Goguryeo's history. At the same time, we will actively pursue or provide support for various other efforts such as strengthening academic capacity for countermeasures, promoting Korea-China and international academic exchanges, reinforcing overseas publicity activities, discovering core historical materials(sources), and excavating and preserving Goguryeo's relics in both South and North parts of the Korean Peninsula.