North Korean News: Unicorns existed, archaeologists discover “unicorn lair”

An artist's impression of what King Tongmyong's unicorn steed may have looked like.

An artist’s impression of what King Tongmyong’s unicorn steed may have looked like.

No, this isn’t from the Onion.

Today North Korea’s Central News Agency reported that archaeologists from “the History Institute of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Academy of Social Sciences” have discovered a lair that belonged to a famous unicorn from the Middle Ages. The North Korean news reported that “a rectangular rock carved with words “Unicorn Lair” stands in front of the lair” and that the “carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).” The lair was reportedly discovered in the country’s capital city of Pyongyang.

Jo Hui Sung, director of North Korea’s national History Institute, told the Central News Agency,

Korea’s history books deal with the unicorn, considered to be ridden by King Tongmyong, and its lair.

The Sogyong (Pyongyang) chapter of the old book ‘Koryo History’ (geographical book), said: Ulmil Pavilion is on the top of Mt. Kumsu, with Yongmyong Temple, one of Pyongyang’s eight scenic spots, beneath it. The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.

The old book ‘Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam’ (Revised Handbook of Korean Geography) complied in the 16th century wrote that there is a lair west of Pubyok Pavilion in Mt. Kumsu.

The discovery of the unicorn lair, associated with legend about King Tongmyong, proves that Pyongyang was a capital city of Ancient Korea as well as Koguryo Kingdom.

But do not think that North Korea actually believes that unicorns exist; that is not what the news article reports. It only reports that North Korea believes that unicorns used to exist. We will await further confirmation as to whether or not the authoritarian state believes that the mythical creatures became extinct at some point since King Tongmyong’s noble unicorn steed.

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