Goseong (II)

Goseong is also famous for its lagoon named Hwajinpo (화진포). Hwajinpo Lake is the biggest lagoon near the East Sea and boasts excellent scenery with its white sandy beaches and evergreen foliage. Due to its impressive scenery, Kim Il-Seong (1912-1994) of North Korea and former South Korean president Syngman Rhee (1875-1965) had their summer villas built here after the independence of Korea in 1945.

Way to former President Syngman Rhee’s summer villa
At the front porch of President Syngman Rhee’s villa
President Syngman Rhee’s study

After visiting President Syngman Rhee’s villa, we headed to Kim Il-Sung’s summer villa which was located nearby.

The way to “Hwajinpo Palace” (Kim Il-Sung’s summer villa)
The signboard in front of Kim Il-Sung’s villa, showing how it was previously and how it is now after remodelling
The front of Kim Il-Sung’s summer villa
Picture of Kim Jong Il in front of the summer villa when he was about six years old
The wonderful view of Hwajinpo from the front porch of Kim Il Sung’s villa

When I visited President Syngman Rhee’s and then Kim Il Sung’s summer villa which are both located in Hwajinpo, Goseong, I felt a bit confused. Maybe it was because I had not expected to find Kim Il Sung’s summer villa in South Korea. If anything, it should have been in North Korea. When I examined my thoughts, I realised that the idea of the two Koreas as separate entities has been so ingrained in me, that it is hard for me to even picture that they were one united Korea before. After all these years of separation, it is of no surprise that people are generally disillusioned about the future prospect of the unification of the two Koreas. However, I would like to cling on to the small hope that the two Koreas can be unified, that they can return to the status quo. If they were unified before, they should be seen as one collective unit, and not two independent separate entities.



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Currently living and pursuing my undergraduate studies in South Korea.

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