Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 30 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|Where in Korea can you find the longest lava tubes in the world?||Korea
Jeju-do. Jeju is a fascinating litle island with beautiful beaches and scenery and a unique culture. Historically it has been one of the poorest parts of Korea but nowadays it thrives on tourism. Korea is rarely visited as a tourist destination but it is a culturally intriguing and beautiful place.
|What is the Korean word for the (South) Korean national flag?||Korea
Taegukki. The South Korean national flag is probably the most philosophical flag in the world as well as (I think) one of the most attractive. The yin and yang in the centre is famous as a symbol of balance and harmony between opposites (some say it was an omen that when the flag was devised, before the division of Korea, it had as its central symbol a divided circle with the top half coloured red). Around the central yin-yang are four trigrams or "kwae" which have many symbolic meanings, including the four elements, the four seasons, the four points of the compass and various human attributes (justice, wisdom etc).
|Which city is found near the spot where General MacArthur led the landing of allied troops behind enemy lines, which changed the course of the Korean war?||Korea
Incheon. The Allied Forces had been driven back by the North Korean and Chinese troops to a tiny enclave around Busan when MacArthur led his famous landing at Incheon. Eventually the front settled around the 38th parallel - where Korea had originally been divided and more or less where the border is today. The war dragged on for another two years with neither side able to progress.
|Who was the mythical founder of Korea?||Korea
Tangun. Tangun is said to have been born at Mount Taebaek in what is now North Korea. According to legend, his mother was a bear who had assumed human form after being instructed to fast in a cave for 100 days.
Queen Min was the "last empress" of Korea, assassinated by Japanese agents in 1895 and now the subject of a successful musical.
Yi Sun-shin is one of Korea's greatest heroes, a naval admiral famed for his defeats of the Japanese.
Chosun is the name of an ancient dynasty of Korea; it is also the name used by North Korea for "Korea" (the South uses "Hanguk").
|Which city in North Korea can be seen from the demilitarised zone that separates the two Koreas?||Korea
Kaesong. Unlike the North Korean "settlement" nearest to the DMZ, Kaesong is a real, populated city, which you can see on a clear day from the observation deck in the South Korean side of the DMZ. Dandong is in China.
|Which Korean city hosted the Asian Games in 2002?||Korea
Busan. Busan was formerly known as Pusan before the Latinisation changes introduced by the South Korean government. Busan is currently recovering from the effect of Typhoon Rusa which wrecked several facilities for the Games.
|The "three Kims" era refers to the period when South Korean politics was dominated by Kim Dae-jung and which two others?||Korea
Kim Young-sam and Kim Jong-pil. These three have battled it out on the Korean political scene for decades, and two of them (Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung) have served as the country's President. With Kim Dae-jung's presidency drawing to a close at the time of writing (2002), it is still an open question who will inherit their positions at the top of Korean movers and shakers.
The Blue House. Known locally as Cheong Wa Dae, the Blue House sites on a site known to have been affiliated with the leadership of South Korea since 1104 AD (courtesy of www.president.go.kr).
September. Korea is known for its brutally hot and humid summers. There were times when I experienced temperatures of 85F (29C) and fog. I also recall taking showers and still being wet after I toweled off! Because of these conditions, the "Summer" Olympics in 1988 were actually held in mid-September that year.
Operation Paul Bunyan. At one time, Panmunjom was non-jurisdictional. In other words, US/UN troops could move about anywhere in the complex, and North Korean troops were able to do the same. There is too much to share here, but I will try to explain it as quickly as I can:
A tree had obstructed the line-of-sight between a UN guard post and others in the area. But an initial attempt to trim the tree resulted in North Korean troops intervening; two US Army officers were killed, bludgeoned with axes. Tensions mounted, and a few days later, with several helicopters and B-52s in the air, and ground troops on the alert, the tree was chopped down.
Daewoo. The Daewoo Le Mans was virtually identical to its Pontiac counterpart. The only obvious differences were that the arrowhead was gold on the Daewoo model (Pontiac's was red), and that it had daytime running lamps (a feature not seen in America until the mid-1990s).
KATUSA. According to http://ncoa.korea.army.mil, KATUSA stands for "Korean Augmentation Troops to the United States Army". Primarily consisting of English-speaking volunteers with college degrees, KATUSAs act in many capacities, including as interpreters, as well as cultural and support personnel.
|In the United States, the number 13 is notorious for its superstitious overtones. What number is the equivalent to the number 13 in South Korea?||Trivia Potpourri (South Korea)
4. Yes, the number 4 is South Korea's unlucky number. I learned this one night, at a hotel in Ouijongbu. It was a four-story building, but the elevator buttons were labelled 1, 2, 3, and 5 (much like the number 13 is skipped within buildings in the U.S.).
Anyang-Haseyo. Both "Anyang-Keseyo" and "Anyangi-Kaseyo" are ways of saying "Goodbye" (one is for as you are leaving, the other for someone who is leaving). The word "Anyang" is a familiar way to say either "Hello" or "Goodbye."
|Not all presidents can boast about having a flower named after them. Two North-Korean Presidents hold this honour. Who are they?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Tae Kwon Do and Ai Ki Do are two martial arts sports. I would be very much puzzled if ever a president with such name would appear. Taekwondo is a sport in which the participants fight unarmed, with many kicks to the head. Ladies, don't practice this sport in a skirt, for you would show far too much leg...
Aikido is a Japanese sport in which blocks and throws are primordial techniques. One of the best known aikido fighters is the actor Steven Seagal, who demonstrates these techniques in almost all of his movies.
Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) was a Vietnamese leader, President of North Vietnam from 1945 until his death. Dien Bien Phu is not a person, but the place of a battlefield in Vietnam: the fortress where the French colonial army was utterly defeated in 1954.
Chiang Kai Shek (1887-1975) was a nationalist Chinese leader. He was President of the Republic of China from 1948 until 1949, when he was forced to leave the Chinese mainland and settled in Taiwan. The Kwo Min Tang is the name of the political party to which Chiang belonged.
Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) became the North-Korean President in 1972. He remained in office until his death. His son Kim Jung Il (born 1941 according to the Russians, 1942 according to the North-Koreans) succeeded him. The flowers named after these North-Korean Presidents are the kimilsungia, a hybrid orchid, and the kimjongilia, a hybrid begonia.
Sunan. Would anyone like to land an airplane at Sand Dunes? I don't think so, although the world contains some oddly-named airports.
Sudan is the name of a country in Africa. It has no bearing with North-Korea whatsoever.
Shinto is the original religion in Japan: an animistic belief that breathes respect for animals, plants and rocks. I have oversimplified this of course, but there is no room here for ample discussion.
The international airport at Pyongyang (to be more precise, at 24 km or 16 miles from the capital's centre) is called Sunan International Airport. There are regular services with Beijing, Bangkok and Vladivostok.
|If you were to take a trip to North-Korea, it is important to know which holidays are typical of this country. Chuseok is one of the traditional holidays, celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. Which economic activity is the cause for this holiday, feasted with traditional food?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
Harvest. We're talking about North-Korea, a republic governed by one single party. There is no need for a large debate on the national budget, let alone to celebrate such a debate.
Tax freedom day is a term coined by western economists. It indicates when the Gross National Product of a nation covers the tax burden. There are two remarks to make on this day. First of all, it is typically only discussed under economists, while the large majority of the people ignore the specific date. Thus, there is no reason to organise a holiday for tax freedom day. Secondly, the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar is about September 22. Almost all countries have their tax freedom day before the end of July.
The end of school exams is very important for the young people attending school, and for their parents. However, I don't know of any nation celebrating a holiday on the end of school exams.
A good harvest is in many nations cause for celebration. North-Korea is no exception to this rule: Chuseok is a holiday evolved from ritual harvest celebrations.
|The Myohyang-san Mountain (Mysterious Fragrant Mountain) is home to the International Friendship Exhibition, one of the largest exhibitions of its kind. What is the nature of the objects exhibited at this museum?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
Gifts to the North Korean leaders. Did you pick the perfume? Too bad: this is only a reference to the name of this mountain.
Quizzes on North-Korea are very rare, but no one feels the need to exhibit some national quizzes.
Spoils of war usually aren't connected with the term "friendship", so the name of the museum would be unhappily chosen if it would contain spoils of war.
So the only valid option is gifts to the leaders of North-Korea. There is a long tradition of exchanging gifts at the occasion of official state visits, and these gifts to North-Korean leaders are stored in the International Friendship Exhibition. Don't expect a museum filled with priceless jewels: many presents have only a symbolic value, for example a basketball with Michael Jordan's autograph.
The Amnok River. The border between China and North Korea is for the most part formed by the Amnok River, which the Chinese call the Yalu River. It is very shallow (about three metres), but provides nevertheless great fishing opportunities for small vessels.
During the Korean War most of the bridges crossing the Amnok River were destroyed. The only bridge that survived the war was the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, built in 1943.
The Huang Ho River (Yellow River) is situated in China, and the Mekong River runs through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The Amur River forms part of the frontier between Russia and China.
|The highest point of North-Korea lies to the north, at the border with China. It is known as Baekdu-San Mountain. To what does this name translate?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
White Mountain. The Japanese word "-san" is generally translated to "holy". "Venerable" would fit better, but for shortness most English speaking people use the word "holy".
But Korean is no Japanese. The Korean word "san" means "mountain".
Now you know what the "-san" part means. But what is the "Baekdu" part?
The most adequate translation would be "white-capped" or "ever white". I chose for the shortest translation possible here, so "White" will do.
Most of the other options I gave were figments of my imagination. As far as I know, there is no Korean Mountain of the Holy Ancestors - this red herring refers simply to a wide-spread practice in island nations in the Pacific Ocean.
The Smoky Mountains are in the USA, not in North-Korea.
There is no such thing as a Mountain of Youth. During the 16th and early 17th centuries, some explorers tried to locate a Fountain of Youth in South-America.
Thanks for player blackcat18 for pointing out the wrong translation of the word "-san", which has a quite different meaning in Korean and Japanese.
|Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea and the seat of its government. Near which coast of North Korea is Pyongyang situated?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
West. Although North Korea is situated on a peninsula, there are only two coastlines: one on the west, one on the east side. To the south lies South Korea (evidently), and to the north there are land borders with China and Russia. Pyongyang lies near the western coast, near the Yellow Sea. The Taedong River connects it with the sea. Famous landmarks include the Juche Tower (completed in 1982, as a political statement), the Arch of Triumph and the Arch of Reunification. The tallest building is the Ryugyong Hotel ("Willow Hotel"), with 105 floors.
|I've always wondered what the southern border of North-Korea would be like. It is, of course, the border with South-Korea, but in this question I'm looking for one of the major North-Korean cities located very near the southern border. Which North-Korean city has a gate to South-Korea?||North-Korea: A Basic Quiz
Kaesong. Kaesong is the only North-Korean city out of these four options. It is a centre of the light industry in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (as North-Korea is officially known). Some experiments with capitalism were started in 2002.
Hong Kong has been part of China since 1997, Kobe is a city in Japan and Ulan Bator is the capital of Mongolia.