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Baekdusan / Mount Baekdu

Mount Paektu, which is also sometimes spelled Baekdu, is the mythical origin of the Korean people, featuring in South Koreas national anthem and various North Korean propaganda. The highest mountain on the Korean peninsula at about 2,750 meters (9,000 ft) above sea level, Mount Paektu (also referred to as Baekdusan) straddles the North Korea-China border and can be reached from China, where it is known as Changbai Mountain. An active volcano, Mount Paektu is dotted with secret camps and historical sites from Koreas guerrilla war against the occupying Japanese in the 1940s. A funicular railway takes tourists up the mountain, which also holds a huge crater lake.

The Kim dynasty, referred to in North Korea as the Mount Paektu Bloodline, is a three-generation lineage of North Korean leadership descended from the country's first leader, Kim Il-sung. North Korea says Kims grandfather and father were born at Mount Paektu, a centerpiece of the Norths idolization and propaganda campaign to highlight the ruling familys sacred Baekdu Bloodline - "Baekdu hyultong" - the Baekdu pedigree inheritance system. North Korea uses it as a means of creating the personality cult of three generations of the late founder Kim Il-sungs family. In the North, the mountain is propagandized as a place for Kim Il-sungs armed resistance against the Japanese during the colonial era, in an apparent bid to justify the nations one-man rule. North Korea also claims that Kim Il-sungs son Kim Jong-il was born in a secret camp at Mt. Baekdu to legitimize power succession. However, Russian accounts indicate that he was actually born in the former Soviet Union. Kim Jong-ils son and grand-son Kim Jong-un continued to stress that he belongs to the Baekdu bloodline, which refers to the ruling Kim family, to strengthen the power of sovereignty of his bloodline. He has climbed the mountain on multiple occasions before making major policy decisions.

Sharing the so-called Mount Baekdu Bloodline would help Kim Yo Jong's prospects as successor. In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Principles for the Establishment of a Monolithic Ideological System states that the party and revolution must be carried "eternally" by the "Baekdu bloodline". The only way to assert one's legitimacy is through the Mount Baekdu bloodline.

Mt. Baekdu has a symbolic meaning for North Koreas regime maintenance. First, North Korean people believe that their nation was established and has been maintained by the Baekdu bloodline to this day. Second, the mountain is not only regarded as the spiritual home of Korean people but a holy place associated with North Korean leaders who have become demigods. Highlighting Kim Il-sungs anti-Japanese struggle around the area, North Korea stresses that he is a great leader who contributed to liberating Korea from Japanese colonial occupation.

Kim Jong-il pointed out as follows. "It is the mountain of control and the mountain of revolution, rooted in the revolution. Baekdu Mountain is home to the glorious revolutionary history of comrade Kim Il-sung, the great leader who has embraced the liberation of Korea by leading the Korean-Japanese Revolutionary Struggle to victory over the past 20 years. It is the birthplace of a revolution where a spectacular sunrise began. The name of the Joseon Dynasty originated from Baekdusan here, and the name of the glorious Juche era was also started from this. Mt. Baekdusan rises high as a stronghold of revolution by shining the eternal thoughts and revolutionary achievements of the great leader comrade Kim Il-sung. (p. 386)

North Korea "Chosun University Encyclopedia" (12): Baekdusan is the birthplace and birthplace of great leader Kim Jong-il, and is the cradle of the revolution that fostered greatness and walls to continue the revolution from generation to generation.,,, Even if you look at the thoughts and personality of the organization's secretary, and even if you look at your hobbies and habits, he is likewise a resemblance to Baekdusan. The spirit and spirit of Baekdusan are overflowing with his whole mind and body./ Great leader Kim Jong-il at the Baekdusan camp on February 16, Juche 31 (1942), a revolutionary period in which a new transformation was taking place in the Joseon Revolution and World Revolutionary Development. (p. 386)

Kim Jong-un visited the mountain around major developments in North Korea, such as visiting in late 2013 before he executed top officials including his uncle Jang Song-thaek, and after North Koreas fifth nuclear test in 2016, North Korea watchers say. Kim's visit to Baekdu Mountain in the past was read as a message that there would be a major change in policy among North Koreans and outsiders.

North Korea's reported on October 16, 2019 that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un climbed Baekdusan on a white horse. Winter hiking? North Korean media outlets emphasize Kim Jong-un's climbing of Baekdu Mountain as'Jeongma march of Baekdu warrant' and emphasize'absolute loyalty' on a daily basis.

North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-un sent a clear message that 2020 would be a big year when he climbed Baekdu Mountain again on a white horse ahead of the year-end deadline in December 2019. He pointed out that it is a precursor to North Korea's major policy changes. Reporter Ahn So-young delivers. The'New York Times' newspaper published an article titled'Kim Jong-un, riding a horse and looking for 'Sacred Mountain' again' along with pictures of Kim Jong-un. Chairman Kim chose to go to Baekdusan with his wife, like this time, wearing a coat similar to that often worn by Kim Il-sung, a grandfather. Kim seems to have tried to emphasize Kim's anti-imperialism.

China has been very keen on the development of this mountain, actively seeking to construct an international ski resort and airport in the area. But China pushed ahead with these development plans without discussion with North Korea, generating controversy. Many suspect that China is attempting to inscribe the mountain on the UNESCO lists for global geoparks and natural heritage alone. China actually writes the name of this mountain as Changbai on world maps, just as Japan uses the word Takeshima when referring to the Korean islets of Dokdo. North Korea and China, in fact, signed a treaty on the mountain border on October 12, 1962. At the time, the two countries agreed to share the crater lake, Chonji, on top of the mountain, with North Korea owning 54.5 percent and China, 45.5 percent.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held high each others hands and smiled brightly atop Janggun Peak at Mt. Baekdu on September 20, 2018, the last day of their summit in Pyongyang. Many people may still remember the touching scene. Moon is known for his love of mountain climbing and had trekked in the Himalayas at least twice. The president has long stated that he would love to one day visit Mount Paektu,

Mt. Baekdu is not merely a natural site as it is both historical and cultural heritage shared by South and North Korea. On 31 May 2020, North Koreas official Korean Central News Agency said that the Mt. Baekdu area is drawing the attention of the international geological circles for its rich biodiversity and geological significance. The news agency also said that North Korea applied for the enlistment of the mountain as a UNESCO global geopark. As indicated in the report, North Korea is seeking to receive UNESCO global geopark certification for Mt. Baekdu.

North Korea has made constant efforts to have Mt. Baekdu listed as a UNESCO global geopark. This is in effort to attract tourists to the mountain that displays natural beauty and spectacular scenery. In its application submitted to the UNESCO headquarters, North Korea specifies the mountains area, location, climate and geographical conditions. It also says that it has transformed Samjiyon City, located at the foot of the mountain, into a model of civilization based on industry-academia cooperation.

The Kim Jong-un regime put a great deal of effort into developing the region. Kim Jong-un has inspected Samjiyon several times since he instructed the development of the area in 2016. It is cited as one of North Koreas major tourist zone development projects, along with the hot-spring spa in Yangdok and the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area. It appears that North Korea seeks to have Mt. Baekdu registered on the UNESCO list of world geoparks to gain international recognition first and then speed up the process of turning the mountain into a major tourist attraction.

North Korea hopes to develop Samjiyon into a model city and draw tourists to Mt. Baekdu. This is Kim Jong-uns ambitious project. A second-stage development has been completed, and the third stages construction began early this year. The nation aims to complete the development of Samjiyon by October 10th this year, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the ruling Workers Party. The leader himself has expressed gratitude to construction workers, while the Rodong Sinmun newspaper has highlighted the project. It reflects how enthusiastic North Korea is about this development project, which shows the leaders vision to boost the economy through tourism.

The volcanic Baekdu Mountain draws many tourists every year, thanks to its world-famous geological features and ecological value. Tourists can learn about the life and culture of the local people in three provinces of northeast China, including those in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province. They can also see the relics of Korean independence fighters during Japanese colonial rule. For South Korean tourists, major sites include the pine tree in the Chinese city of Longjing, the center of Koreas fight for independence during the colonial period. It also includes the birthplace of renowned Korean poet Yun Dong-ju, known for his lyric and resistance poetry. On top of that, the site also contains historical sites of the ancient Korean kingdom of Goguryeo.

For Korean people, Mt. Baekdu is not just a tourist site with cultural and historical significance but is regarded as a sacred mountain. It is the highest mountain on the Korean Peninsula. Janggun(??) Peak is the mountains tallest peak, which is 2,750 meters above sea level. In fact, the mountain has about 16 different peaks that are higher than 2,500 meters above sea level.

Cheonji was formed by an explosion around the 10th century, a thousand years ago. There is a theory that Mt. Baekdu was about 3,500 m in height a thousand years ago, and when it exploded, it became what it looks like today. Baekdu Mountain erupted not only in the 10th century, but also in the Joseon Dynasty. Baekdusan is a stratovolcano of considerable size. A large caldera (celestial earth) is placed on the top of the body, which is commonly known as a volcanic volcano, but is still observed as a hot volcanic eruption, with occasional volcanic earthquakes, and active volcanic eruptions within 10,000 years.

This mountain is the starting point of the Baekdu Daegan, which is a chain of ridges and peaks stretching through the Korean Peninsula from Mt. Baekdu to Mt. Jiri in South Korea. It is also the origin of the mythology of Dangun, the founding father of Korea. The peak of the mountain is covered with snow about eight months of the year. In fact, the word Baekdu means white head. For Koreans, the mountain has great significance in many ways.




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Page last modified: 12-08-2020 15:19:34 ZULU