North Korean unicorns • Nick Nunn, Nunn-Sense, columnist
North Korea is rarely a laughing matter, but, in this case, I’m willing to make an exception.
The director of the History Institute of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (which sounds remarkably similar to the NSDAP to me…) Academy of Social Sciences has announced that North Korean archaeologists have recently rediscovered the Yongmyong Temple, where King Tongmyong used to ride his unicorns in his off time.
That’s right – North Korean history involves unicorns… and the kings that loved to saddle up on them.
The Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam (the Revised Handbook of Korean Georgraphy compiled in the 16th century) states that the Yongnyong Temple is located under Mt. Kumso, one of Pyongyang’s eight scenic locations.
Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam. Say that five times fast.
Or once – slowly.
Well, I guess that North Korea decided to take a break from making the entire rest of the world nervous to dig up an entire mountain, just to see if they can’t find some unicorn bones.
The Korean Central News Agency (guess who owns that) reported that the lair was found from the known sections of the Yongmyong Temple.
They found a rock there that contains carvings that date back as far as 918 AD.
Not only did unicorns exist in Korea, according to the DPRK, they were hanging around punching single holes in mountain walls with their heads less than 1,100 years ago.
But we shouldn’t be too quick to hang the dunce cap on the North Koreans. Lots of nations’ foundational beliefs depend on creatures and people that probably didn’t exist exactly as they imagine them if at all.
The Odyssey involves a Cyclops. In Beowulf, the title character defeats the Grendel. Siegfried in the Nibelungenlied is known as the “dragon-slayer.”
And Paradise Lost…
Printed in the December 6, 2012 edition