Mt Kumgang reserve rich in living things

Mt Kumgang

By Kil Chung Il

Mt Kumgang in Kosong and Kumgang counties of Kangwon Province is 60 kilometres long from north to south and 40 kilometres wide from east to west, covering an area of 530 square kilometres.

As it embraces a magnificent, graceful and singular natural landscape of all kinds of forms and figures, it has been called one of the eight beauty spots in Korea and one of the three mysterious mountains since olden times.

It has many peaks, especially Piro Peak rising 1 639 metres, gorges, rocks, waterfalls and pools. It forms a conspicuous biosphere as it is in harmony with a variety of rare animals and plants.

The Mt Kumgang area is one of the rainy and snowy regions with warm weather in the country. Outer Kumgang in the east is affected by a mild oceanic climate due to the effect of warm current in the East Sea of Korea, while Inner Kumgang in the west has a continental climate.

Mt Kumgang East Sea

The flora of the mountain is so diverse and rich that it looks like a grand natural botanical garden. For such natural and geographical features as topography and climate, the mountain is a home of multifarious plants, ranging from the plants of the temperate zone to boreal plants.

Over 1 200 species of plants grow there, including indigenous Pentactina rupicola, Hanabusaya asiatica, Veronica diamantiaca and Saxifraga oblongifolia.

As Mt Kumgang stands in a range of big mountains running north and south, it has favourable conditions for the migration of animals inhabiting northern and southern parts of the country. It is also appropriate for the habitation of various animals since it not only has lots of mountains and lakes but also adjoins the sea. More than 250 species of vertebrate animals inhabit there.

There is a saying that the "mountain seems to have all superb scenes as stones do tens of thousands of tricks, water does thousands of cute things and trees are admirable" as the mountain changes from moment to moment according to seasons, time and weather.

As it is an aggregate of all scenic beauties like the beauty of mountains and valleys, scenery of plateaus, lakes and coast and seascape, a proverb which says "You should not mention about the beauty of mountains and rivers before visiting Mt Kumgang" was coined.

The Mt Kumgang area was registered as the world biosphere reserve in July last year.

(Pyongyang Times - September 12, 2019)