President Park Geun-hye urged Japan on March 1 to face up to history and be more responsible for its past wrongdoing if it is to lead the era of Northeast Asia in tandem with Korea.
She participated in the 94th Independence Movement Day commemoration ceremony held in the morning of that day at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, saying, “Future prosperity can be guaranteed based only on soul-searching reflection on the past and the historical fact that Japan victimized Korea doesn’t change at all no matter how much time passes.”
The strong remarks are to express her regret at Japan’s recent move regarding the Dokdo Island. The Japanese government sent high-ranking officials, including a deputy minister, to a recent event for declaring sovereignty over the region. Still, President Park did not particularly mention the name of the island on that day.
With regard to her North Korea policy, the President said, “We’ll continue to take stern action against any provocation by the North but will exert more flexibility if North Korea opts to change itself and head toward the right direction.” By saying so, she relaxed her tough stance a little bit compared to immediately after the North’s third nuclear test as of late. She put another emphasis on the trust-building process though, stressing that North Korea would get nothing but isolation and pain if it were sticking to its nuclear ambition. “North Korea can become a responsible member of the international community only when it gives up on its nuclear arsenal and stops its provocation and only then the two Koreas will be able to thrive together,” the president remarked.
In the meantime, it has been found that the English version of the Declaration of Independence located in the Tapgol Park in Jongno, one of the places where the independence movement started, is full of misspellings and wrong and ungrammatical expressions to the point of severely impairing the dignity of the original Korean-language version
For example, you can find the sentence of “We make this proclamation having back of us 5000 years of history” in the second paragraph. According to English scholars, the “have back of us” makes no sense and must be replaced by a phrase like “on the foundation of 5000 years of history.”
The fourth paragraph reads “Assuredly, if the defects of past are to be rectified.” However, “Alas” or “Woe to us” should take the place of “Assuredly” and the latter part needs to better express the grief of the nation subject to foreign invasion. In another sentence, “insect’ is found instead of “people” out of the blue while “sincere” is misspelled as “sincero.”
Nevertheless, the governing local government has no idea about who translated the declaration. “The memorial stone was erected in 1980, when Seoul City took charge of the installation, and we don’t know who translated it,” said an employee at the Jongno-gu Office, adding, “We just look after the epitaph and don’t have any rights concerning errors of the content.”