South Korea’s government on Thursday sought to correct President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE, publicly declaring it was never part of China.
“It’s a clear fact acknowledged by the international community that, for thousands of years of history, Korea has never been part of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho June Hyuck said Thursday in Seoul, according to Bloomberg News.
“[Xi] Then went into the history of China and Korea,” he recounted to the Wall Street Journal. “And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years … and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China.”
Trump’s remarks have become an issue in South Korea’s presidential election ahead of a May 9 vote.
“This is clearly a distortion of history and an invasion of the Republic of Korea’s sovereignty,” conservative Liberal Korea Party candidate Hong Joon Pyo said through a spokesman.
A representative for Moon Jae In, a Democratic Party of Korea candidate, demanded the full context of Xi’s remarks.
Ahn Cheol Soo’s People Party said it would be regrettable, if true, for China to distort history during global diplomacy.
Trump and Xi met in Florida earlier this month to discuss international affairs, including North Korea.
Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea are rising after the combative nation's failed missile launch last week.
Trump has repeatedly urged China to pressure North Korea into ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons.