June 18, 2024
KCNA Naenara (En)

Mt Paektu Is the Most Celebrated Mountain in the World

Date: 25/05/2024 | Source: Naenara (En) | Read original version at source

I have some photo albums and videos, namely “Waterfalls of Mt Paektu” and “Trees in the Mt Paektu Area.” They are a good reminder of my 30-odd-year exploration of the mountain.

They still blow my mind.

Mt Paektu, located in Ryanggang Province in the northern part of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, rises 2 750 metres above sea level as the highest mountain at home. It is well known as the ancestral mountain from which all the other mountains of the country stretch, and it boasts magnificent and sublime appearance.

Yet, it is better known as the sacred mountain of the Korean revolution where President Kim Il Sung organized and led the bloody anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle and Chairman Kim Jong Il was born.

This is why the Korean people have made a pilgrimage to the mountain and it has become a favoured motif for many renowned artists, poets and writers.

Mt Paektu, an outcome of a volcanic eruption that occurred about one million years ago, is of typical alpine climate as it is high above sea level. The mountain area is the coldest place in the country, and its climate is the most changeable. For a day, you can witness weather changes several times.

Our ancestors and many scholars had long explored the mountain, but nature has many secrets to discover.

In the spring of 1981, while I was serving in a public security organ, I was assigned a task to search for an unidentified creature which was reported to have appeared in the area of Lake Chon on the top of Mt Paektu. So I set out on the expedition leading a team of over a dozen members.

We pushed ahead with the survey in the face of extreme weather, and finally confirmed that it was a large bear, weighing about 500kg, which would swim across the lake.

This finding caused a stir in academia, for it was until then a generally accepted fact that no living things can survive in the area of Lake Chon.

Since then, for nearly three decades, I observed the natural and geographical environment of Mt Paektu during my business trips there. I had a strong desire to have a better understanding of the ancestral mountain that represents the soul and spirit of the Korean nation and to widely publicize it. Each of its natural elements was unique and indigenous, for example, geology and topography related to volcanic eruption, fauna and flora combined with the natural environment of the alpine area, hydrological movements of Lake Chon, and soil formed along with pumice and alpine plants.

I used to climb up and down steep cliffs with a camera on my back in search of mysterious natural phenomena preserved for ages, such as the clear and deep lake surrounded by towering cliffs, peaks and valleys covered with snow all the year round, kaleidoscopic changes of weather, and primitive forests, despite biting cold of 30℃-40℃ below zero, strong winds and blizzards, and hailstorm and heavy rain preceded by sporadic thunder and lightning.

Over the years, I proved scientifically that Lake Chon is home to dozens of species of living things, including char, and discovered lots of unknown facts about the natural world, vast, boundless and ever-changing, complete with rolling peaks and rocks, scenic spots, waterfalls and hot spas, animals and plants, and freak of nature.

Through the exploration, I realized that the mountain’s nature has undergone considerable changes and its ecosystem has become enriched.

Today, the vast shores of Lake Chon are inhabited by different species of plants with a sea of flowers attracting bees and butterflies.

A spectacular sunrise on Mt Paektu, Jong Il Peak as the famous peak of the mountain, Janggun Peak, Hyangdo Peak, Ssangmujigae Peak among a number of peaks, Saja Rock, Ryongma Rock, Chongun Rock, Paektu Falls, Rimyongsu Falls, Sagimun Falls, etc.

Mt Paektu is really the most celebrated mountain in the world.

It is said that during their military rule over our country in the early years of the last century, the Japanese imperialists failed to explore the mountain due to harsh weather conditions, only to inscribe such words “Mt Paektu will remain a secret forever” on a post before driving it into the ground there.

Today, the Korean people are working to add lustre to Mt Paektu which is associated with the immortal exploits of the peerlessly great men.

Ri Song Bae, resident in Neighbourhood Unit No. 28, Puksong-dong No. 2, Phyongchon District, Pyongyang

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