The World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency recently revised the name of the founding monarch of the Silla Kingdom to Bak (Park, Pak) Hyeokgeose as highlighted in a red box. His surname was mistakenly written as Bae. Photo captured from World Factbook website

Silla Kingdom’s founder properly named now

In its latest World Factbook, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mistakenly named the founding monarch of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-935). (See Korea News Plus article on Feb. 16, 2021.)

In a photo article about Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Gyeongju, the capital city of Silla, the World Factbook erroneously called the kingdom’s founder as “Baehyeokeose.”

The Voluntary Agency Network for Korea, a non-government organization, also criticized that the CIA World Factbook includes so many miscues about South Korea.

The CIA remained silent for longer than a monthm and finally, the outfit opted to revise the error by calling the Silla founder Bak (Park, Pak) Hyeokgeose.

The amendment is in line with the Korea News Plus article where his surname should be one of Park, Pak, or Bak.

However, the CIA World Factbook did not correct its typo _ it misspelled the Open Democratic Party of Korea as the Open Democratic Pary. It also uses two different Korean language romanization systems.

In addition, the Voluntary Agency Network for Korea (VANK) pointed out that the World Factbook is full of errors about South Korea.

“It is consoling that the CIA admitted its mistake and did something. But the U.S. agency should still amend so many things,” said VANK chief Park Gi-tae, who is the descendant of the Silla founder.

“We have repeatedly asked the CIA to upload correct information about South Korea. And we will continue to do that.”

For one, Park said that the CIA World Factbook should not stick to Liancourt Rocks for Dokdo and the Sea of Japan for the East Sea.

Dokdo is a set of volcanic outcrops of which ownership has been disputed between Seoul and Tokyo. The latter calls the Island Dakeshima. It is under the strict control of Korea.

Koreans also refuse to call the sea between the two countries as the Sea of Japan. Instead, they dub it the East Sea.