Ever-victorious General Choe Yong

The Korean word manho meant a military officer assigned to work at a point of military importance, and Choe Manho stood for General Choe Yong.

dprk stamp general choe yong

General Choe Yong in DPRK stamp.

Whenever Choe showed up in a battlefield, Japanese pirates shivered with fright and took flight.

He was born to an aristocratic family in 1316. In the year when he was 15, his father in his deathbed told him to regard gold as stone.

Bearing in mind his father's words Choe adhered to integrity for his immovable creed of life.

As a strapping man he was always out in battlefields distinguishing himself whenever the country was at a crisis owing to foreign invasions.

His bravery and commanding ability were fully displayed during the Hongsan battle to rout Japanese pirates in July 1376.

A large unit of Japanese pirates sailed up the sea off Chungchong Province, came up the Kum River and anchored in the Paengma River to invade Koryo.

Knowing this Choe volunteered to go to the front and smash the invaders. He was 60 at the time.

When he reached Hongsan leading his troops he found the Japanese pirates already in combat readiness on a bluff to which only a single road led.

Choe Yong drew out his sword and rushed on horseback toward the enemy's position followed by his officers and men. The invaders were mowed down in groups.

Unable to check the Koryo troops' attack, the aggressors tried to put up resistance shooting arrows from afar at random.

Then an arrow shot by a Japanese pierced Choe Yong's lip.

Only after killing the enemy with an arrow, did he pull out the arrow from his lip with perfect composure.

This encouraged his troops to charge raising a war cry and fight hand to hand with the pirates.

Now the enemy began to flee.

"Don't let even a single rogue escape," Choe ordered. And his troops chased and annihilated the enemy. Thus, the battle ended in victory for the army of Koryo.

"If you fight ready to die you can win. But if you wish to survive the fight from the outset you'll be defeated. You should keep this simple truth in mind," Choe said to his men.

Afterwards, whenever Choe showed up in a battlefield, the Japanese pirates were demoralized even before fighting.

Choe won over 100 battles against aggressors in his lifetime. Thus, he was renowned as a victorious veteran warrior.


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