CIA Factbook Corrects Spelling of S. Korean President

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. intelligence agency has responded to criticism of misspellings of South Korean leaders' names, but some of the references still remain incorrect, Yonhap News Agency found Monday.

The Web site of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) corrected the name of the South Korean president to Roh Moo-hyun from previously spelled Noh Moo-hyun (as received) and updated the names of newly appointed politicians, including Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan, who took office in late June. The data of the CIA World Factbook 2004 was changed on Nov. 2, according to the Web site.

The U.S. agency said it has corrected the names of South Korean officials to reflect their universal usage.

Since last year, the South Korean government and civic groups asked the U.S. agency to correct the mistakes. These again became a national issue in July, when Millennium Democratic Party Rep. Sohn Bong-scuk raised it in a parliamentary audit session.

"The names in question were corrected with cooperation from the U.S. State Department and the CIA," an official of the South Korean Embassy in Washington said on Monday, refusing to be named.

However, many references still remain wrong. The CIA site spells the name of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as "Kim Chong-il" and still applies the McCune-Reischauer system of romanization to spell South Korean provinces, such as "Cheju" and "Cholla," rather than the government's official spelling, "Jeju" and "Jeolla."

(Description of Source: Seoul Yonhap in English -- Semiofficial news agency of the ROK.)

Source: Yonhap News Agency