[KS] Koguryo part of China?

Ruediger Frank rfrank at koreanstudies.de
Fri Jan 2 05:31:46 EST 2004

Dear list members,

a good friend has passed a Russian document on the Koguryo issue to me that 
might be of interest to you. The statement is fairly strong, both in terms 
of rhetoric and of the level at which it was issued. It specifically 
mentiones Korea, but addresses the Chinese way to deal with history in a 
more general way, too. We should probably not see the Koguryo issue only as 
an isolated single case, but rather in the context of similar attempts 
vis-à-vis Russia, Mongolia and other states.

Anyway, here is a short summary, with all my due apologies for the 
unpolished translation:

On December 22nd, 2003, there was a press conference at the International 
Center for Korean Studies of Moscow State University. The director of the 
Center, M.N. Pak, and the head of the Korea and Mongolia Department at the 
Russian Academy of Sciences, Y. Vanin, addressed Russian and foreign 
journalists. At the end of the press conference, they issued a statement, 
with 3 major points:
(1) Koguryo was founded by tribes that were the ancestors of today's 
Koreans. It is assumed by some that since the historical monuments of that 
time are located in today's China, that makes the founders of Koguryo one 
of the smaller nations of the Chinese empire. However, the Chinese state 
was created during a long period of time by integrating other, non-Chinese 
people. The mentioned approach excludes the possibility of the existence of 
independent peoples on the territory of present day China.
(2) Ignoring the independent and autonomous history of these people, among 
them the Koreans, cannot be of much help to keep and develop a relationship 
of good neighborhood and friendship between the people of Korea and China 
in the 21st century.
(3) The Russian academics (names follow), specializing on Korean history, 
suggest that this non-historic treatment of the history of the early Korean 
state of Koguryo will be reconsidered in the PRC.

With best wishes for 2004,


Ruediger FRANK
Humboldt-University Berlin
Korea Institute
Fon: +49-30-55 99 878
Fax: +49-30-2093-6666
e-mail: ruediger.frank at rz.hu-berlin.de
Web: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/korea
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