New Mountain-Hiking Routes

 

Myohyang (1 909 metres above sea level), located in the northwestern part of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is one of the celebrated mountains in the country.

In May 1981 Chairman Kim Jong Il, determined to open up new routes for hiking the mountain, climbed it, leading an expeditionary party made up of senior officials from the central organs.

An official, who had been guiding the party, told Kim Jong Il that the path was steep.

But Kim Jong Il led the party, saying that mountain hiking was more rewarding if it was a challenge.

When the party reached the Murung Falls, it suddenly got dark and threatened rain.

Officials urged him to turn back, since he had already identified the tourist routes.

However, he picked up the pace, insisting that, though it was cloudy, they should still get to the top.

After admiring the view of the Eight Pools and crossing a rickety suspension bridge, he arrived at a stream beside the Yuson Falls.

Then, it began to rain.

A rock blocked the path ahead, which was so narrow and slippery with rain that they had to crawl under the rock. Moreover, on the far side there was another rock which was so cracked that it seemed it would fall on them any moment.

Officials blocked his way, insisting that he should turn back.

Smiling, Kim Jong Il said: Why are you making such a fuss about the weather? Since we are on a mountain, we should be prepared to get soaked by the rain. Crawling under a rock is something everyone should try when hiking a mountain. I understand that you are concerned about my safety. But we should go on. We aren’t here for recreation. By climbing the mountain in this foul weather, we can really get to know the tourist routes.

When the party got to the Pison Falls, it stopped raining and a beautiful rainbow could be seen against the falls.

The officials shouted for joy.

That day, after listening to the officials’ impression of mountain hiking, Kim Jong Il gave detailed instructions on laying out the tourist routes so that they were safe and more convenient as poor safety measures on such steep routes might give rise to accidents.

 

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