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CIA gets its Korean facts wrong

Factbook full of fiction, cries miffed bloke
Wed Dec 13 2006, 14:43
US SPY AGENCY, the CIA is under fire from South Koreans for getting it wrong about the country in its online 'Factbook'.

The main slinger of mud is the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), a sort of self-appointed promoter off all things (South) Korean.

Founder of VANK, Park Ki-tae says, "First of all, the site twists Korean history by hinting that the country's origin stretches back just 1,000 years."

Park says it is important to state the Korean history dates back more than 4,000 years. Otherwise, he says, "China may use these statements to claim our ancient dynasties like the Koguryo Kingdom."

"We know the CIA World Factbook doesn't cover ancient history in detail, but its introduction to South Korea is really weird even in comparison to that of North Korea," Park said.

"Many other mistakes or inappropriate expressions are posted about South Korea, and site organisers refuse our requests to change them," Park said.

Amongst these mistakes are the use of the appellation Sea of Japan for a bit of water Koreans call the East Sea. The spooks also use the Japanese-favoured name Liancourt Rocks for some, well, rocks that Korea calls Dokdo Islets.

"At least the CIA has to show the names used by both Korea and Japan, but the CIA has refused to do so," Park says, according to the Korean Times.

"Of more concern is that the Factbook has changed descriptions of the Dokdo Islets in favour of Japan despite our complaints," he adds.

The Factbook also says South Korea has two deputy prime ministers but in fact it has three. Park says he harangues the CIA over such gaffes. "The replies have been almost identical for the past several years, promising to check. However, the content has been changed against us," Park said.

Park should thank his lucky stars he's not Iraqi. µ

 

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