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22 April 2017, 01:30 | Terri Saunders
How a single Trump sentence enraged South Korea
The Post noted that during all of Korea's history there have been parts of the country that were "tributary states to China".
Trump made the inflammatory remark during an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week while speaking about the 10-minute Chinese-Korean history lesson he was given by Chinese President Xi Jinping which made him realize that the situation in North Korea was "not so easy". Xi's explanation of the historical relationship made Trump realize that it's "not so easy" for China to influence North Korea to give up its nuclear program, the newspaper quoted the US president as saying. It has even retaliated economically over the system.
Beijing has always been concerned about potential instability in North Korea should the regime in Pyongyang collapse, fearing both an influx of refugees and the potential of reunification under a South Korean government closely allied to the US.
China's obstinate response to the self-defensive weapon to fend off North Korean missiles is seen as an attempt to tame Korea as well as drive a wedge between Korea and the US. Ji Sang-wook, Yoo's chief spokesman, expressed concern that China's response to the missile defense system might be based on such an understanding of the past.
The party's spokesman said that while Korea experienced "many ups and downs, our 5,000 years of established history is the pride of our nation".
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Nonetheless, officials in South Korea do not want it on the official record that China ever owned Korea, as Democratic Party of Korea representative Moon Jae-in states. If he is confirmed to have said so, China should explain his remark. The official added it's a historic fact Korea has never been part of China, and this fact is acknowledged by the global scholarly community. Korea has never been a subordinate state of China, though it was influenced by China.
During his election campaign, Trump repeatedly mentioned the possibility of withdrawing USA forces from South Korea unless the country shoulders more of the responsibility for its own defense.
Trump's account of his Florida meeting with Xi might reflect his own proclivity for simplifying complex issues.
If the United States leader had acknowledged what Xi allegedly said as truth, it would be a serious problem.
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