Updated July.25,2006 22:03 KST

Teachers' Union Puts Faith in N.Korean History Book

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South Korea��s hugely powerful teachers�� union borrowed heavily from a North Korean history textbook for a booklet used in a seminar for members last year, the Chosun Ilbo has learned.

Materials show that the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers' Union excerpted a North Korean history textbook verbatim to write more than two-thirds of a 92-page long booklet without disclosing the source. It was then used in a seminar for the members of its Busan chapter in October. The textbook was reprinted in South Korea by Ilsongjeong publishers in 1983.

The cover of a seminar booklet by the Busan chapter of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers�� Union, two-thirds of which excerpt a North Korean history book.

The booklet reproduces North Korea��s tall claims for the late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung��s anti-Japanese activities during the Japanese colonial era and describes the Korean War as a ��struggle to liberate the motherland.�� Quoting a U.S-based sociologist, it also hails North Korean leader Kim Jong-il��s Songun or military-first policy as a ��unique achievement.��

Je Seong-ho, a law professor at JoongAng University, said the materials are illegal under the National Security Law since they deny the historical views of South Korea while promoting the North��s perspective. More worryingly, teachers thus instructed could pass on these warped views to impressionable students.

The union��s Busan chapter is no stranger to controversy, making headlines last year with anti-globalization video teaching materials on the APEC summit last November that lampooned heads of state, notably U.S. President George W. Bush. The chapter declined the Chosun Ilbo��s request for a comment.

(englishnews@chosun.com )