The World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency mistakenly names the founding monarch of the Silla Kingdom as Baehyeokeose as highlighted in a red box. His surname is not Bae, but Park. Photo captured from World Factbook website

Silla Kingdom’s founder mistakenly named

In its latest World Factbook, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mistakenly named the founding monarch of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-935), which set up the first unified country on the Korean Peninsula.

While explaining Daereungwon Tomb Complex located in Gyeongju, the capital of Silla, the World Factbook erroneously names Silla founder as “Baehyeokeose.”

In fact, his name is Park Hyeokeose, who is the progenitor of all Park clans here_ about five million Koreans have the surname. Some put his surname as Pak or Bak, but definitely not Bae, another common family name.

The Factbook also misspelled the Open Democratic Party of Korea as the Open Democratic Pary, while employing two different Korean language romanization systems.

For example, the book dubs the country’s fifth-largest city as both Daejeon and Taejon. The former is the official romanization system of the Korean government.

“The World Factbook has been full of mistakes. Some half-jokingly calls it as the World Fatbook or the World Error-book,” said VANK chief Park Gi-tae, who is the descendant of the Silla founder.

“We have repeatedly asked the CIA to come up with correct information. But it still fails to do so.”

Short for Voluntary Agency Network for Korea, VANK is a non-governmental outfit designed to promote a positive image of Korea, by requesting foreign internet sites or agencies to correct wrong data.

“In addition, the CIA World Factbook should not stick to Liancourt Rocks for Dokdo and the Sea of Japan for the East Sea,” Park said.

Dokdo is a set of volcanic outcrops whose ownership has been disputed between Seoul and Tokyo, which calls the island Dakeshima. It is currently under the strict control of Korea.

Koreans also refused to call the sea between the country and Japan as the Sea of Japan. Instead, Koreans dubs it as the East Sea.