Unicorns’ Existence Proven, Says North Korea

You can be forgiven for thinking that unicorns only existed in medieval fables and modern-day cartoons. North Korean scientists say you are wrong.

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Image: U is for Unicorn. Book illustration by C.B. Falls, ca. 1923.
Buyenlarge / Getty Images

U is for Unicorn. Book illustration by C.B. Falls, ca. 1923.

You can be forgiven for thinking that unicorns only exist in medieval fables and modern-day cartoons. North Korean scientists say you are wrong.

On Thursday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North Korea’s government mouthpiece, said scientists “reconfirmed” the location of the burial site of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of the ancient Korean kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BC-668 AD).

The unicorn’s grave was rediscovered near a temple in the capital Pyongyang, with a rectangular rock engraved with the words ‘Unicorn Lair’ at its entrance, according to the report. The report did not elaborate on what further evidence of the royal unicorn’s existence was discovered.

(WATCH: Kim Jong Un Has a New Theme Song)

Like most news reports from North Korea, even unicorns are used to underscore the legitimacy of the current regime. “The discovery proves that Pyongyang was a capital city of Ancient Korea as well as Koguryo (Goguryeo) Kingdom,” the report quoted Jo Hui Sung, director of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences, as saying.

King Dongmyeong’s biography is half history, half myth. As the legend goes, Kongmyeong was born from an egg impregnated by sunlight and united the tribes left in disarray after the collapse of the Chinese Western Han dynasty. His line ruled over the Korean peninsula for seven centuries until the return of the Chinese under the Tang.

(PHOTOS: The Dictator’s Bride: Kim Jong Un Debuts His First Lady)

The North Korean news agency does not have much of a reputation for factual accuracy. When the country’s former dictator Kim Jong Il died in December 2011, it reported a rock carving glowing brightly and ice near his presumed birthplace to have cracked “so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth” in mourning of the Dear Leader. While he was alive, Kim reportedly invented the hamburger, wrote 1,500 books in three years while at university, and shot eleven holes-in-one the first time he played golf (a feat verified by his 17 bodyguards).

Looking back at those reports, unicorns don’t seem that far off.

POLL: Should Kim Jong Un be TIME’s Person of the Year 2012

82 comments
DidiFaith
DidiFaith

The bible mention unicorns in heaven and that i believe , now on earth ? I'd  have to see that with my own 2 eyes to believe it

Denesius
Denesius

The first sentence said it all: "Medieval" country, "Medieval" culture, discovery of a "Medieval" creature.

VincentLovece
VincentLovece

South Korea exports semiconductors, North Korea claims that unicorns are real. It's clear which state knows how to adapt to the 21st century.

SentientBeing
SentientBeing

Unicorns are real. Who doesn't know that. 

Even Colin Powell proved before the UN that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

Even right now they are proving, again before the UN, that Iran, and Syria are either pursuing or will pursue or will use or could use, or will eventually either pursue, or could eventually pursue, Weapons of Mass Destruction. 

mackenzie
mackenzie

More self-promoting propaganda? They say that North Korea's mind control technology is quite real though, and I can imagine that it is true. I would also imagine South Korea does its own counter propaganda efforts. It may be that neither side can truly be trusted.

anumccartney
anumccartney

The newest weapon in the South vs. North battle. Now for a PSY vs Unicorn dance-off.

MarcDunn
MarcDunn

11 hole in ones ------ he meant to say 11 shots in a row  at the 19 the  hole but he was to drunk to remember  ---- i saw a pig fly once--i  think

hellobd4542
hellobd4542

he probably ran a sub 3 hour marathon too.

MinutesofMayhem
MinutesofMayhem

I'll bet it's fabulous to be a Korean scientist. Evidence and records aren't important there. The only validation you'll ever need, is that your brains haven't been blown out by an unamused tyrant, within 24 hours of making crap up.

gpo2188
gpo2188

HOLY F***ING S**T NOW THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE STARVING IN NORTH KOREA CAN FINALLY RELAX.....UNICORNS!!!!!!!!!!!!

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

You made some major errors in the last paragraph - 1/ The story is that Kim Jong Il wrote 1,500 political pamphlets, which I believe could be true. They're not big, but due to a translation oversimplification, they tend to get called 'books'.2/ Nobody ever said that North Korea invented the hamburger. I was there recently, and when I asked where the hamburger came from? They said either China, or probably America. They have never claimed it as their own.Get your facts straight when you're reporting on North Korea... it's a weird country in a difficult situation, and things will only improve through developing understanding on both sides. Not by 'reporting' second- or third-hand rumours about how crazy someone once told you the North Koreans are.If you want to read the considered opinions of somebody who has actually been there, you can check out my report here: www.thebohemianblog.com/pyongyang 

MssOh
MssOh

Geeze, Grandpa was a nut, Dad was a nut....   Boy didn't land far from the  tree....  Another nut job.......

Philodhis
Philodhis

I guess time travel is also possible there...

WilliamRichardson
WilliamRichardson

Of course they believe in unicorns.  After all, their country is run by a leprechaun ;) 

TheScarecrow
TheScarecrow

I contend that even among the most hardened party officials of the DPRK, there exists at least a sliver of consciousness of the degree to which their efforts to maintain the Kim personality cult wades into self-parody.

prurka
prurka

North Korea: Unicorns existed

CNN last week: Scientists prove bigfoot exists

RobRodriguez
RobRodriguez

The last unicorn died from exposure to gangnam.

MssOh
MssOh

NK and reality, two separate concepts.

MikeDizzle
MikeDizzle

@DarmonRichter 

I read your whole tour story, and it's disgusting. Do you understand how you paint any monetary trade between two people or between a business and a person as "manipulative!". Yes, the billboards in the USA that say "Switch to Geico and you could save money on car insurance!" are disgusting, evil, tools of the manipulative capitalists! And OF COURSE your bit about 'search engine optimization' is another example of you (and the DPRK's) lust for hating private enterprise, since you assume that everyone and every business who trades with each other is trying to 'immorally take advantage' of each other. You and your guide thought you were each soooooo insightful by declaring "YES! search engine optimization is just evil business trying to steal money from poor helpless people! YEEEEESS!!!" And you think that is anything close to objective or true?I like how when asked about the actual OUTPUT of various industries like agriculture, the appointed guides find such questions "boring!". Growing enough food to actually feed the entire population? Bah! That's unimportant.You use the observation of people in the park barbecuing and singing to each other as "OMG! I discovered that people here are human and try to have fun when possible! Maybe BECAUSE these people are in this park trying to have fun in a country where starving is rampant and normal living conditions horrible, that...that....communism isn't so bad!!! See?? These communists, even though they live horrendously oppressed lives....are laughing! See?! Why....gollie! Communism isn't so bad after all! Because people making the best of being horrendously oppressed definitely means that the system which oppresses them is obviously a good system.

TheXian
TheXian

@ToddCollins Oh come now, it mentions a 1 horned animal with 4 legs that is useless for plowing a field. And, of all places, in Job, a parable. The king james translates the word as "unicorn", yes, but thats because its a one horned beast. It is not describing a white steed that has fairy dust around it.

TheXian
TheXian

The explosion of Little Boy over Hiroshima was 16 kilotons. This one was 1 kiloton. Not half, but a 16th.

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle @DarmonRichter Alright, so you seem to have missed the point of my report. I suspect that you have never been to North Korea, and yet you still have opinions on it. Most of us do, it's normal. - (1) - My intention however, was to write a purely objective report - and discuss what I saw in the country, not what I had read elsewhere. The words 'disgusting' and 'evil' are your own, and I don't think they're very useful in this context. Regarding Search Engine Optimisation, I think I'm fairly well qualified to discuss it objectively and truthfully - it's what I do for a job, after all. No, a monetary transaction is not 'evil' - but SEO often has more to do with controlling markets, than simply connecting the buyer to the most appropriate, or most useful seller. In this sense, it reflects the aggressively capitalist nature of our society. - (2) - Yes. My guide dismissed questions of agricultural output. You know this, because I told you. Because I thought it was relevant. Because I thought something more important was being kept secret. I wanted to keep idle speculation out of my report, but you only came to this conclusion because I invited you to - if you had read the report with more intelligence, you would realise that we agree on this point. - (3) - You're making a fallacious argument, when you suggest I approve of communism after seeing some 'happy' communists. Again, I'm merely describing what I saw, and I felt it would be an interesting observation, as this side of the country isn't so often reported. As ever, you were welcome to make your own conclusions, which you have. But you have no reason to believe I didn't come to the same conclusions.    - You strike me as a very reactionary person, who views matters in black and white, and likes to have things spelt out for you. Perhaps the subtleties of the article were lost on you as a result, but the whole purpose was to let other people see what I saw, without imposing my opinions or conclusions on them.  - Despite a few surprising observations, the result, ironically, was that we were both left with the same opinion of the place.

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle  Hi Mike. I'm delighted that not only did you read my report, but also that it had such an emotive response on you. Would you be so kind as to paste your comment onto the actual report itself? It would seem more appropriate to discuss it there, rather on this partially related topic...

Kritometeor
Kritometeor

@TheXian @ToddCollins In my biblical studies, basically the "unicorn" was actually a one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) - single horn is unicornis, double horn is bicornis. Unicorns technically do exist, just not quite how we fantasize them... 

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@TheXian 

You turds have not a clue about nuke tech... You can indeed do a nuclear weapons test with a yield of less than a kiloton and it indeed being a real nuclear explosion.

Forcing nuclear material to go super-critical defines a successful nuclear test... the controversy is if the intended yield was what actually happened. It it possible they fired a dud but it is equally possible they were testing their ability to manipulate nuclear material for weapons in a low yield test.

Jeez the internet is stupid

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle OH, and as for SEO - you cannot disagree that the purpose of it is to boost search engine rankings... and the whole fact that this is studied and practiced, suggests that the intention is to 'fool' search engines in some way. Lots of companies rank highly for products that they don't sell - but might do one day. It's getting harder and harder for independent business to get into the top spots on search engine results pages now. This much is fact. Where I go on to talk about 'capitalist rot', well, that's my own humble interpretation. 

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle You're mixing up an evaluation of my report, with your own response to my personal beliefs. For the record - I dislike capitalism, I am dissatisfied with the form of government in my own country, and I think communism has some good points. Probably fair to say I'm more an anarchist than anything else.

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle You apparently don't get sarcasm. You think I meant "generous gesture of comradeship" seriously? Are you mental? Also - - - you say here that my  "visit confirms the oppressiveness of their setup." Good. That was my intention. To prove a point using truthful observation rather than speculation.

DarmonRichter
DarmonRichter

@MikeDizzle @DarmonRichter You'll note the non-objective parts are introduced by words like: "Personally though", or "In my opinion". Of course I have opinions - but I was objective in that I only described what I saw. Some reports from North Korea tell the story differently - VICE Magazine for example, report sitting in a bar full of secret service employees. They only believe this though, as a friend in the US said it was the case. Most people haven't been to NK, so I wanted to share the experience of what a tour there is actually like. I truthfully and objectively reported exactly what I saw, and what Koreans said to me. Naturally, I have opinions on it. I don't believe everything I was told, and I did mention in my report - and in bold - that my experiences only reflected one small part of the country, which had been approved to tourists. Which in itself says a lot. I didn't think I needed to state the obvious in my report, though.

MikeDizzle
MikeDizzle

3)

Saying that you're qualified to make the statement "search engine optimization is an immoral fraud because I work in search engine optimization" is like saying "All electrical work is immoral because I'm an electrician for a living". Doing the task for a living does not grant one the ability to label the entire subject/trade skill as an immoral fraud. A website doing it's best to appear high in search results is far from inherently immoral! That part of the report also seemed not objective.

"“Why not spend your time getting good at a real instrument instead?” she asked. Answers like these, simplistic and naïve as they may be, often left me questioning my own culture rather than theirs." ---------(THIS is also another great time to use the word "disgusting". How can you think it is anywhere near objective the label all of western culture as one who supports *guitar hero*. Of all things! 99% of us think it's a stupid waste of time too! I don't know how many people i've talked to who rant and rave about how guitar hero is stupid and useless and you'd be better off practicing with something real. But ironically, and somehow "objectively", you find yourself in North Korea having the idea that something as useless as guitar hero is a representation of "your western culture". To think that's anywhere close to objective or true IS disgusting!

"I can’t help but agree that capitalism breeds a certain kind of rot; our Westernised global culture can have the tendency to promote gluttony and confuse success with wealth, while often devaluing tradition, commonality and good, clean living. Excessive materialism is a disease," -----------(You were still trying to be objective here too? This is horrendously far from objective. Limitless immoral lust is spending $2 million a year on Hennessey like Kim Jong Un does and touring a dolphin aquarium and water rides while your population can't even produce enough food to feed all of it's citizens. Most who acquire wealth throughout their lives do it by being a doctor, lawyer, highly skilled tradesman, or an entrepreneur or self employed person. Something highly disciplined and valuable to society. Saying that capitalism as a whole "breeds rot" is far from objective. Saying that the freedom of capitalism is in itself immoral is like saying that cars are immoral, because you once saw someone drive one through a wall in order to harm someone else.....AKA use one immorally. 

"Communism, on the other hand, is a beautiful idea; and when it works, it really works. If you’re the kind of person who is happy to work a mundane job for six days a week, then spend you Sundays and annual holiday allowance eating, drinking, singing and dancing with your friends and family, then Pyongyang would be a truly wonderful place to do it – provided you’re living in an area which feature mains electricity, running water, medical and educational facilities." -----------(You used your example of a very small percentage of people, located in the 'well known to be very developed and unlike the rest of the country' capital of Pyongyang, who probably WERE in that group that were fortunate enough to have electricity and water. Also, you again said objectivity was your goal, yet here you are, in North Korea, saying that capitalism only breeds materialistic rot, and communism is a beautiful idea........not true (look at all examples throughout history), and not objective.

I am also not in any way "reactionary", and though there are only few people who "vote" comments on this site, there were several people who agreed with my original reply.

Yet I am baffled that despite all that, you say that we ultimately agree! Well.......cheers?

MikeDizzle
MikeDizzle

2)

"It seems as though the new leader spends a reasonable amount of his time testing rollercoasters and water rides. At present, he is overseeing the construction of North Korea’s first dolphin aquarium. Considering many of these attractions are offered with no entry charge to the general public, it certainly makes for a generous gesture of comradeship..." ------------(I do not think it is objective to call that "comradeship" to oversee the construction of dolphin aquariums when much of your population is starving, and with electricity for only a few hours per day in many places, among other terrible living conditions for many.)

"take a moment to look at the facts of it: the very notion of happy, fulfilled communists would stand to threaten everything that our capitalist society is based upon." -------(I don't think this is objective at all. Every try at communism throughout history has ended starving and poor. The DPRK is no exception, and there is no propaganda in that statement. Your visit confirms the oppressiveness of their setup. The DPRK government simply tries to hide their poverty with strict tour destinations and guides that blatantly lie to you.)

"I was taken aback at just how quickly she grasped the idea, before summarising it thusly: “Companies pay you money to make them seem more useful to the world than they actually are, so that they can find more people to get money from.” " -------(This REALLY is disgusting, not objective, and far from the truth. "More useful than they actually are" is REALLY your guide's interpretation of a website doing it's best to appear high in search results?? I'm far from "reactionary!" for thinking that's a disgusting misrepresentation, and typical of someone who has been staring at communist propaganda billboards all day. I don't listen, nor do I respect, Fox news pundits, but your report paints a worse picture of the country, conditions, and mindsets that exist in the DPRK than any right wing pundit or anti communist voice that i've ever heard!

MikeDizzle
MikeDizzle

@DarmonRichter @MikeDizzle  

Great, looks like you're going to get it in pieces:1)

Normal0Well I'm delighted that our overall opinions of the condition NK is insomehow align!These quotes from your report made that seem opposite, and made it seem notobjective, which was your goal:"Yes, it’s communist propaganda. In its purest form. Personally though,I much prefer these simple, feel-good posters to the manipulative advertisingwhich plasters Western cities…often playing upon our subconscious lusts anddesires to encourage us to open our wallets." -------- (this seemed verynot objective to me, much of advertising is the honest offer of goods andservices in an open market. Heaven forbid there is a tiny bit of disciplinerequired to not open your wallet for cheap lusts. It's biased to label thewhole of advertising as playing upon subconscious lusts...and objectively, thatis far from the truth. There are laws against false advertising and alwaysshould be, don't get me wrong, but the picture you paint is very biased here.)"There are some things which simply can’t be faked, have too muchsubstance to be mere illusion; and the sense of community and festivity in thepark that day was so tangible it became infectious. The DPRK do fun very wellindeed, and for those content to live a simple life sheltered from the outsideworld, things could certainly be a lot worse." ------------------- (Thisseems not objective because it seems like too much of an overstatement beingthat it was with a small group in a park in Pyongyang, and I feel it's too muchof a stretch to label the example of these specific people in this specificpark as a representation of the ability of ALL people within the DPRK to"do fun very well" and I think it's an injustice for the many who areoppressed and starving and can't feed their families or eat. A satellitepicture of NK at night being completely dark EXCEPT for a tiny dot of lightover Pyongyang, makes me feel that most of the people in the DPRK certainly donot have the means to do "fun" very well, as you say they do. )

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@DarmonRichter @MikeDizzle 

Darmon the quirky communist seems to be doing a better job of communicating and presenting an argument Mike... You sound like a bitter twit

keep in mind I think darmon's beliefs regarding the economy is almost as absurd as believing in Noah's Ark or Creationism... people believe that pile of turds

Anyway even if he is crazy he is winning this fight Mike because you look like you are bitter to the point of being creepy.

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@Kritometeor @TheXian @ToddCollins 

How is it that you can read the musing of an extremely ignorant ancient goat herder and believe it too..... you likely are a Creationist who believes "God wizarding life with a bang and puff of smoke" is really sensible compared to evolution.

You see when i sat down and actually read the thing I found these little bits of wisdom separated by a vast gulf of Bull Poop... swimming in the turdly writings I can not understand how anyone can believe such ridiculous BS.... in your world an ancient drunk builds a boat to rescue all the species of creation and that makes sense to you.... It really is like seeing a devout Egyptian talking about Ra's nightly vigil and fights in the underworld and seeing them believe it showing you what religion does to the brain and at least our Egyptian existed 3000 years ago while you have all this modern knowledge at your command but would rather eat a giant pile of horse poo instead.

darkspace
darkspace

@Kritometeor @TheXian @ToddCollins perhaps, the Greek translations of the Bible also use Unicorn and the Rhinoceros is the most likely explanation. I guess the takeaway is that the Korean news release isn't describing a white horse with a horn sticking off it's face and rainbow colored hair either. Time and the Atlantic are making this out to be some silly story out of North Korea, even though you could put up an equally silly sounding story out of the Bible, paint it in the same light, and the comments would be blowing up the Atlantic reporter for printing it.

etech02
etech02

@TheXian @Kritometeor @ToddCollins More correctly...It was an "White Rhino" the rarest of all rhinos...Most of who have seen it in the days of "After" biblical times...Started the mystical "Myth" or "Legend"...Those who saw it called it a "unicorn"...Thus the legend born...