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Korea confirms state textbook plan, says private publication failed

Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahn announced Tuesday that South Korea would officially reinstate government-issued history textbooks for secondary education, saying that the current private publication system had failed after four years into implementation.
Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahn (Yonhap)
Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahn (Yonhap)
“It is realistically impossible to author a correct history textbook under the current system. It is the government’s conclusion that the privately-authored system has failed,” Hwang said during a briefing at the Seoul Government Complex. “We need to make a textbook based on objective facts, and true to the constitutional values.”

He said that current historical circles were dominated by left-leaning scholars, and private publication could only create textbooks that were favorable to the leftists and North Korea. Hwang also dismissed concerns that the state textbooks will be biased, because “our mature society won’t allow it.”

The Education Ministry announced last month that it plan to revive the state history textbooks, which will be introduced in 2017.

By Yoon Min-sik (