"Archaeologists of the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences have recently reconfirmed a lair of the unicorn rode by King Tongmyong, founder of the Koguryo Kingdom," reports the — wait. Stop. UNICORNS? That's an actual snippet from a report from the Korean Central News Agency, the state news agency of North Korea and fine, okay, we totally understand that this might be a retaliatory joke in response to China getting fooled by The Onion naming Kim Jong-un the Sexiest Man Alive or something.
But experts don't lie, do they?
Jo Hui Sung, director of the Institute, told KCNA:
"Korea's history books deal with the unicorn, considered to be ridden by King Tongmyong, and its lair.
And these are the history books Hoi Sung is talking about :
The Sogyong (Pyongyang) chapter of the old book 'Koryo History' (geographical book), said: Ulmil Pavilion is on the top of Mt. Kumsu, with Yongmyong Temple, one of Pyongyang's eight scenic spots, beneath it. The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.
And there's more. It's not like this is a National Enquirer/Bat Boy type of fleeting story. This one has significance It looks like North Korea is using the unicorn lair to prove a bigger point:
The discovery of the unicorn lair, associated with legend about King Tongmyong, proves that Pyongyang was a capital city of Ancient Korea as well as Koguryo Kingdom.
Taking into account that this is the same country with news agencies telling their people that mountains cry and birds lament when Kim Jong-il died and did so because he was sent down from the cosmos to destroy the Japanese to sink holes in one and that's totally normal, this isn't too far-fetched of a — you know what? I give up.
Note: As a commenter has pointed out, western ideas of a unicorn and Korean ideas of a unicorn are a bit different and a unicorn is called a Qilin in Korea. It's still a mythical creature. You can see the Qilin here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.