So, Ye Olde Chosun—and a lot of other folk on the right side of the political ledger—are unhappy with some of the left-learning Korean history textbooks that schools may use from next year.
In particular, the Chosun cites who two textbooks who make the Soviet occupation army in the north look like liberators and the US occupation army in the south look like, well, occupiers by comparing side-by-side the degrees of their respective commands (Dr. Andrei Lankov looks at this thorny issue) and another textbook for emphasizing the oppressiveness of South Korea’s post-war dictators while refusing to even use the word “dictatorship” to describe North Korea’s ruling regime.
The Chosun notes this as left-wing scholars, media and, of course, the KTU clamor for the government to rescind official sanction for a textbook by the “new right”-leaning Kyohak Publishing Company, which has been accused of a) beautifying the Japanese colonial era and b) playing down abuses by Korea’s post-war dictators, including the Gwangju Massacre. In fact, the Chosun accuses the campaign of being an leftist attempt to keep rightist views of history out of the classroom.
Personally, I think everyone’s full of shit here, but without having actually seen the textbooks in question, that’s more of a gut feeling rather than an informed opinion.
There’s more history fun on the way with the Park administration set to name a man accused by some of being a Syngman Rhee fan boy as the new chairman of the National Institute of Korean History. But that will have to wait for a bit later.