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Monday, 18 November 2013

Daejeon National Cemetery, Daejeon Yuseong-gu: Secondary National Cemetery in ROK

When the burial capacity in Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-dong, Seoul Dongjak-gu has reached to its limits, the former president Park Chung-hee ordered the defense ministry to put the ideas for another national cemetery and finally designated this site for the construction of Daejeon National Cemetery (Hanja: 國立大田顯忠院)  in the current location at 251 Memorial Parkway/Hyeonchungwonno, Gapdong san 23-1 beonji, Daejeon Yuseong-gu on April 14th 1976. 

After the decision for this site, the Minister of National Defense organized the Committee of the Second National Cemetery Establishment Preparations on May 11th 1976. They started to construct in earnest on April 1st 1979 and completed the total size of approximately 3,300,000 sq m of Daejeon National Cemetery on November 13th 1985. During the construction, the first burial was done on August 27th 1982.

Daejeon National Cemetery has enshrined patriotic martyrs and the souls of all the fallen heroes and the South Korean civilians who died gloriously for Korea and the Koreans so that they has been worshiped for their distinguished achievements in their lifetimes. The authorities in charge of Daejeon National Cemetery has been changed to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs in the wake of the enforcement of ‘Act on Establishment and Management of the National Cemetery’.

Daejeon National Cemetery is flanked by Munpil Peak as Mount Jojong (the royal ancestor mountain), Ongnyeo Peak (옥려봉) as Jusan (the guardian mountain) and mount Gyeryong as Taejosan (the first king mountain). According to Taekriji (which is a geography book written in 1751), Mount Gyeryong, called Taejosan (the first king mountain), is one of the 4 breathtaking sceneries in Korea along with Mount Samgak (Seoul Gangbuk-gu), Mount Odae (Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province) and Mount Kuwol (Anak County, Southern Hwanghae Province, DPRK). 

Munpil Peak is similar to the point of a pen and the peak of the mountain looks like flames. It seems that the flames light up the sanctuary. Ongnyeo Peak that rises up and down from Munpil Peak has a shape that Ongnyeo (beautiful woman) faces a gold plat. Therefore according topography of Daejeon National Cemetery is the best ideal propitious site for graves, because of the right and left ridgelines which are a peak in Munpil Peak and Ongnyeo Peak that take over spirits of Mount Gyeryong and set around like a folding screen consist of the Blue Dragon on the left and the White Tiger on the right.

First Class North Korean Defector, Hwang Jang-yop was interred there after he died of a heart attack at his home in Seoul Gangnam-gu. He was 87 years old.