April 21, 2021
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Life stories about famous martial artists enjoy wide appeal

Date: 25/02/2021 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

Biography of Korean Martial Art Masters is now all the rage in the DPRK.

The five-volume book started to be published in 2004 and the fifth volume was completed in 2009. Later, at the request of readers, the contents of the book were rearranged by historical periods and new materials were added to them, and thereby the enlarged edition began to be published in 2014.

Kim Kwang Jin, student at Pyongyang Han Tok Su University of Light Industry and lover of the book, said he often has debates with his classmates about illustrious persons recorded in history, adding that to delve into the past along with their names is a great help to study.

The book includes the stories about lots of famous persons such as Pubunno who was loyal to King Tongmyong, founder king of Koguryo (277 BC-AD 668); General Ondal who had been despised as a “fool” but rose to fame as an eminent commander; Ulji Mun Dok, an illustrious commander who brought about the “Great victory in the Salsu River” against foreign invaders; Admiral Ri Sun Sin who was renowned as a “god of naval battle”; and Jang Po Go who held sway over the seas in the East.

Vol. 4 deals with the growth of Kung Ye who established the State of Thaebong (901-918), Kyon Hwon who built Later Paekje (900-936), and Wang Kon who founded Koryo, the first unified state of Korea that existed between 918 and 1392, the founding of the feudal states and their downfall.

“They all excelled in martial arts and founded countries, but as they took different views as to power and nation, the outcomes were different, ruin and prosperity. The story about them tells us a lot indeed,” said Ri Jong Chol, worker at the Pyongyang Kim Jong Suk Textile Mill.

There are also stories about Jo Mak Jong and An Kyong Mu who were noted for extraordinary jumping ability and agility and Kim Jung Myong who killed a tiger with only two kicks.

Jo Chong Un, writer at the Korea April 26 Animation Studio, said he wrote the book in order to tell readers about famous martial artists recorded in Korean history and help them realize that the worth of life gets different markedly according to for what such outstanding martial art skills are used.

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