CRS modifies report on Northeast Asian history

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CRS modifies report on Northeast Asian history



WASHINGTON - Accepting South Korea’s request, a U.S. congressional institute has put off the publication of a diplomatically sensitive report on history disputes among Northeast Asian nations, an informed source here said Thursday.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) had planned to issue the report last week.

The South Korean government reviewed the draft and took issue with some of the contents, according to the source.

In a draft report, the CRS first introduces China’s claim that Korea’s ancient Koguryo and Balhae kingdoms were provinces of China’s Tang Dynasty.

It then carries South Korea’s explanations that the kingdoms were independent from China.

Focusing on the historical and geopolitical relationships of Northeast Asian nations, the report touches on China’s view of history. It would serve as reference material in predicting Beijing’s role in case of a regime collapse in North Korea.

“The purpose of the report itself is good,” the source said on condition of anonymity. “It is believed to be highlighting that China is making unreasonable claims rather than supporting them.”

The problem is that the report, if released without changes in the draft, may send a wrong signal to the U.S. public and the international community, added the source.

The South Korean government has requested the CRS place Seoul’s view on its ancient kingdoms first, followed by China’s claims, the source said.

“The CRS has accepted it and I think it is correcting the direction,” the source said. “That’s why the release of the report has been delayed.”

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