Korean train is the first among Asia….

Talking about trains in Korea, it reminds me of number of conversations with South Koreans a few years back.

They claimed Korea was the first country among Asia to introduce trains or trams as a proof of how Korea was superior and modernized herself without help from foreign countries.. It turned out KBS a Korean TV aired program about it. So I had to tell them “I’m sorry that is not true”. Every Korean except one person got pissed off at me and accused me of distorting the history even though I merely pointed them the fact politely….

The one guy who really wanted to know the truth, asked me (or more like challenged me 🙂 ) to show him the proof. So I did. A whole bunch of them. There was trains running in Kyoto earlier than in Seoul. (Besides, it was Americans who setup the train in Korea and run by Japanese) He accepted that (highly unusual for a Korean from my experiences). And he contacted to KBS. I don’t know it is because of him, but now most people (not everyone!) know that KBS story was not true.

고종시절 전차 개통, 동양 최초 맞나? 전차부설 일본 도쿄보다 빠르지만 교토보다는 늦어 OhMyNews.com


그런데 간혹 우리나라의 전차개통이 동양 최초였다는 주장이 눈에 띈다. 예를 들어, 지난해 가을에 방송된 한국방송 <역사스페셜> 프로그램에서도 이러한 내용이 다뤄진 적이 있었다. 우선 설명을 위해 해당 부분을 옮겨보면, 이러하다. HD역사스페셜 63회 \’13년의 꿈, 대한제국\'(2006.9.22일, 밤 10:00~11:00, KBS 1TV)에 언급된 내용이다.


I had to debunk Korean claims like this one by one… there are as many as stars …. man, I feel dizzy. South Korea, as a country, is seriously twisted in my opinion, but I believe Koreans are not, at least not all of them are….


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