Earlier this month, in just one sentence, President Trump managed to show just how ignorant he is about Korean history.
During an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump explained that, when he was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the history of China and Korea came up. As usual, it appears that the President’s listening skills were not up to par.
He said about the conversation with Jinping:
‘He [Xi] then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years… and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China. And after listening for 10 minutes, I realized that not – it’s not so easy.’
Surprise, surprise, Korea never was part of China, as the President claimed.
On Thursday, a South Korean news outlet revealed that Trump is, not surprisingly, being raked over the coals by many of the country’s people for the “ignorant remarks.”
A Korean government official reportedly called the claim “clearly not true and not even worthy of a response.”
As the reporter pointed out in the video below, there are many possible explanations for the confusion. Perhaps Jinping really did say what Trump claimed; there is also the possibility that Trump simply misunderstood President Jinping, as well as the possibility of a translation error. It seems safe to say, though, that Trump, as soon as he realizes how mercilessly he is being mocked, will try to shift the blame over to everyone but himself.
However, the reporter also pointed out that, regardless of the reasoning behind the statement, the fact that he said it during an interview “reflects lack of understanding about Korea.”
President Jinping was also criticized during the report, saying that the remark could reflect his “possible hegemonic ambitions on the Korean Peninsula.”
It was also noted that, with Jinping and Trump talking about South Korea in this way, cooperating with them will be a “crucial task” for the country’s presidential candidates.
Watch a clip from the Korean news station below, available via Twitter.
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) April 20, 2017
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.