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Korea 300 yrs ahead of Wright brothers in making airplane: activist

All Headlines 10:45 November 10, 2016

JINJU, South Korea, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- Korea had built an airplane 300 years ahead of the Wright brothers, although none of the ancient plane or its design has been left, the head of an organization to restore the ancient plane, an activist claimed Thursday.

"Korea is the origin of the flying aircraft. We should perfectly restore the plane to get recognition of it worldwide," Kim Dong-min, chairman of the Jinju Bicha Restoration Commitee, said at a seminar in Jinju, 434 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

This Yonhap file photo shows the model of "Bicha," a plane allegedly built by military officer Jeong Pyeong-gu during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-98). It is displayed at the Air Force Museum in Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

It is widely known that Orville and Wilbur Wright built the world's first plane Wright Flyer in December 1903.

Kim insisted, however, that Jeong Pyeong-gu (1566-1624), a military officer in Jinju, developed the plane "Bicha" during the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-98).

It's regrettable, however, that none of the ancient plane or its design has been left, he said, adding that it must be restored to let the world officially recognize Korea as the origin of the airplane.

Kim's organization was launched in August, joined by local historians and civilians.

"We'll endeavor to find documents on Jeong's plane and to recommend the city government and aviation companies to restore it down the road," Kim said.

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