Prosecutors to take up history textbook case

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Prosecutors to take up history textbook case

The Ministry of Education said on Friday that it has asked prosecutors to investigate 17 people, including five former presidential officials, involved in the publication of state-authored history textbooks under the previous Park Geun-hye administration.

The ministry wrapped up its months-long internal inquiry into allegations that the officials abused their power in pushing for the introduction of government-issued history textbooks in high schools. They were widely criticized for right-leaning bias and distorting facts related to the 18-year dictatorial reign of former President Park’s father, Park Chung Hee.

In 2015, Park ordered a rewrite of history books to remove “left-leaning” content and “correct” history education. Last year, the liberal Moon Jae-in government scrapped the policy, and the Ministry of Education began an internal inquiry into suspected illegal acts by officials who were in charge of the textbooks. The inquiry found that officials fabricated the results of a public opinion survey about history textbooks and were involved in other misdeeds.

The ministry filed complaints with the prosecution against five former presidential aides, eight former education officials and four employees of a public relations agency. It also plans to request disciplinary measures for six others at the ministry and affiliated organizations.

But the ministry took no action on the former president, citing their limited investigative authority.

In May, the ministry said it would announce new guidelines for high school history textbooks by July.

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