National History Symposium of North Korea (2016)

Archaeology, Human Evolution, Human Origins, Palaeoanthropology, Palaeontology
Kim Il Sung University, Pyongyang, North Korea

On the 28th of November 1976, Eternal Leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, ordered the Kim Il Sung University to investigate the origins of the Korean people. Since then, both Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il have proposed hypotheses to explain the origin of the Korean people and their history. On the 28th of November 2016, exactly 40 years later, a National History Symposium was held in Kim Il Sung University to take account of all the research that had been conducted within the country until now. The outside world has not been informed of these advances to a very clear level, but what we do know is that there is evidence that the Korean peninsula featured hominins by about the Upper Palaeolithic. According to the Pyongyang Times, Korean ancestors had settled down in the Taedong Basin around the present day capital Pyongyang “at the dawn of human history”.

A glimpse into the National History Symposium held at Kim Il Sung University

University President, Thae Hyong Chol and Minister of Higher Education, Ri Hye Jong both attended, but the current Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un was not present. A number of people spoke at the Symposium, including:

University Dean: Choe Su Nam,
Laboratory Technician: Han Kum Sik and
Deputy Director of the National Authority for the Protection of Cultural Heritage: Ro Chol Su,
Director of the Academy of Social Sciences: Son Su Ho
Kim Hyong Jik University Lecturer: Jon Ryong Ho.

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