King Tangun and National Foundation Day

October 3, 2022

Tangun is the father of the Korean nation who founded Ancient Joson, the first state in the history of Korea, and created civilization.

But he had been regarded as a mythical being in the past.

Because the Koreans produced various legends about the founding father as they deified him for ages. But a more important reason is that the Japanese imperialists manoeuvred to obliterate the thought of him from the mind of the Koreans during their military rule over the country.

Telling historians that every nation has its founder a long time ago, President Kim Il Sung assigned them the task of quickly finding out whether Tangun actually existed. He personally studied historical data and histories on state building and had academic discussions with historians to clarify the direction and ways to discover substantial evidence of Tangun’s entity. In January 1993, in particular, he suggested scholars to excavate the site of Tangun’s tomb in Kangdong County, Pyongyang.

Archaeologists carried out an extensive excavation at the site and discovered the remains of the king and queen in February 1993, thus scientifically proving that his remains dated back over 5 000 years.

Kim Il Sung was very satisfied to describe the discovery of the founder king’s remains through the excavation as a tremendous victory of Korean archaeology and great pride of the Korean nation. And he gave an instruction to reconstruct the tomb well as befitted the one of founder of the nation since it was scientifically ascertained that Tangun was a real person and the founder of the Korean nation and paid close attention to the building of the mausoleum till the last moments of his life.

Chairman Kim Jong Il led the efforts to reconstruct the tomb as a monumental structure to be handed down to posterity in keeping with the features of the contemporary time and by following the traditional national customs.

As a result, the tomb was wonderfully rebuilt in less than a year.

At present, the Mausoleum of King Tangun is located on top of a ridge at the foot of Mt Taebak in Munhung-ri, Kangdong County, Pyongyang.

National Foundation Day is commemorated with splendour at the mausoleum on his birth anniversary, October 3, every year.

The memorial service for King Tangun which has been performed for thousands of years to worship the father of the nation was inscribed as a national intangible cultural heritage element.


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