This is bizarre if true.
Local media is charging that the actual path of typhoon Bolaven, announced after it passed, was altered by the Korea Meteorological Administration to meet their previous forecast.
Following it’s passing, the difference in the typhoon’s course was between 90 to 120 kilometers off those reported by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The excuse for the discrepancy is wanting, with the KMA saying that:
… the difference comes from variations in technical standards and experts’ interpretation in each country.
I don’t know, satellites, large landmasses, real time imagery, how do you mess that up? Sure, you can differ on the prediction, but once it’s passed you oughta be pretty sure where it went.
The KMA is sticking to their story though:
“Errors happen when analyzing the location of the center of typhoons based on satellite data. The U.S. agencies also make errors on the location of the center of hurricanes, with the error sometimes being more than 100 kilometers.”
This might very well be true, but the KMA’s track record on this kind of thing could be coming back to haunt them.
In July 1987, the KMA fabricated the path of Typhoon Thelma in order to cover up its mistake. While the typhoon hit the southern coast, the agency announced it passed via the Korea Strait as it had forecast.
At that time, several KMA senior officials were fined, while others stepped down in the face of the scandal.