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20 April 2017, 06:14 | Erica Roy
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During a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trumptold the daily on April 12, Xi "then went into the history of China and Korea". "There's a limit to how many crises you can have at the same time, so this is total bupkis". The comments sparked outrage in Seoul and became an issue in South Korea's presidential race, prompting the foreign ministry to seek to verify what Xi actually said. If Xi did in fact say something along those lines at the summit, he too opens himself up to charges of being hegemonic and Sinocentric in his view of history.
But in the meantime, he has stirred a diplomatic row between South Korea and China. SAUDI TRIP Trump may add a visit to Saudi Arabia to a trip to Europe in May in what will be his first overseas journey since becoming president, a senior administration official says.
A Foreign Ministry official here said, "We don't even need to comment about the claim", but added, "It is a fact recognized by the global community that Korea was not a part of China during the thousands of years of historical relations between the two". "Nobody can deny that".
Yoon Kwan-seok, a spokesman for the opposition Democratic or Minjoo Party of Korea, said "50 million South Koreans can not hide their surprise and embarrassment" regarding the remarks. It's not confirmed whether these were the exact words President Xi used, or a misunderstanding on President Trump's part, or even an interpretation error.
Yoon suggested unification on the Korean peninsula would be realized without China's meddling. For centuries, Korea was part of China's tributary system, paying for protection from its giant neighbor, just like many other kingdoms including Vietnam and Thailand.
"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 through a spokesman.
"I seriously worry about President Xi's misunderstandings of history", Yoo said.
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