National symbols of North Korea
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Upon its liberation in 1945 and subsequent foundation in 1948, North Korea adopted national symbols distinct from the national symbols of South Korea. The traditional flag of Korea, the Taegukgi, and the symbol Taeguk, were swapped for communist symbols.
Some of the symbols of North Korea – the national emblem, flag, anthem and capital – are defined in the constitution of North Korea, while others such, as the national sport Ssirŭm or the national dish kimchi, are traditional. Some traditional symbols are shared with the South but with different connotations. Mount Paektu, for instance, is recognized as the symbol of Korea across the peninsula, but North Koreans revere it as the birthplace of Kim Jong-il. Some North Korean symbols are complemented with symbols for the ruling Kim family. For example, the Magnolia sieboldii is the national flower but the hybrid orchids Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia are also respected.
Constitutionally defined symbols
Chapter VII of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea defines the emblem, flag, anthem and capital of North Korea, while the head of state is stipulated by article 117 of chapter VI.
Article 169 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1972, amended 2013)
The present emblem of North Korea was adopted on 9 September 1948, on the Day of the Foundation of the Republic. It features a hydroelectric plant and the design was, much like the flag, probably commissioned by the Soviets. The design was amended in 1993 to feature, under the red star, Mount Paektu – in itself an important symbol of Korea – which North Korea considers the birthplace of Kim Jong-il. 
The ratio of the width to the length is 1:2.
Article 170 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1972, amended 2013)
The flag of North Korea was designed in 1948 and adopted the same year to replace Taegukgi, the traditional flag. The Taeguk symbol that now remained in the flag and emblem of the South was subsequently removed from North Korean photos and texts. The colors of the North Korean flag – red, white and blue – are considered national colors and symbolize respectively: revolutionary traditions; purity, strength, and dignity; and sovereignty, peace, and friendship.
Article 171 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1972, amended 2013)
The national anthem is "Aegukka" (Korean for The patriotic song), written by Pak Se-yong and composed by Kim Won-gyun in 1946. Musically, it is similar to South Korea's national anthem, spelled "Aegukga". In addition to "Aegukka", the "Song of General Kim Il-sung and "Song of General Kim Jong-il" play an equally important role. The folk song "Arirang" is known as the "unofficial national anthem of Korea". North and South Korea have submitted it separately to UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Article 172 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1972, amended 2013)
The first 1948 constitution defined Seoul – the present capital of South Korea – as the capital city. In order to have succeeded in realizing this, the South Korean regime would have had to be removed. In 1972 the constitution was revised and Pyongyang designated as the capital.
Head of state
Article 117 of the Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1972, amended 2013)
The head of state of North Korea has been the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly since 1998. The post has been held by Kim Yong-nam since then.
Animals and plants
North Korea has no official national animal, but the mythological winged horse Chollima is taken to be a national symbol. North Korean Siberian tigers are considered unofficial symbol of both Koreas as it represent the Korean people and nation.
The national dog is the Pungsan dog. Pungsan is named after what was once Phungsan County (now Kimhyonggwon County) in Ryanggang Province. It has been bred as a hunting dog. Recently, efforts to conserve and proliferate the breed have been taken.
The national bird is the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). The bird inhabits the northern and central parts of the peninsula and sometimes migrates to the southern part of the country in winter. Historically, Koreans have used the goshawk to hunt pheasants, pigeons and hares.
The national flower is the Magnolia sieboldii. It was originally called "hambak" in Korean but was renamed "mokran" after the suffix "-ran" given to beautiful flowers in Korean. The act of renaming is attributed to Kim Il-sung. Two orchid hybrids are also significant: Kimilsungia and Kimjongilia. They are both considered unofficial national flowers.
The national tree is pine (Pinaceae). Pines are considered beautiful aspect of scenery and have been featured in Korean visual arts since ancient times. Pine trees are associated with Kim Il-sung's guerilla activities in the forests around Mount Paektu, and thus with the founding of the country. Earlier, Kim Hyong-jik, the father of Kim Il-sung, had composed a poem: "Green Pine on Nam Hill" to promote liberation of the country.
The national day on 9 September is the Day of the Foundation of the Republic, a public holiday that commemorates the date when Kim Il-sung appointed a cabinet in 1948. Both the birthplace of Kim Il-sung at Mangyongdae and the Juche Tower are considered national monuments.
The national dish is kimchi, a spicy, fermented vegetable dish. North Korean kimchi tends to be less spicy than its Southern counterpart. Both are inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The traditional Chosŏn-ot (hanbok) is the national dress. The national sport is Ssirŭm, traditional Korean wrestling, but the martial art Taekwondo is important, too.
Mount Paektu is recognized as a symbol of Korea in the North and South alike, but North Korea has attached special significance to it by claiming that it is the birthplace of Kim Jong-il. Tangun, who is considered the founder-king of the Korean nation, is also said to be born at Mount Paektu and is celebrated in North Korea especially. In 1993 North Korean archaeologists located and dated remains in a tomb that they declared Tangun's grave.
- Culture of North Korea
- Cultural assets of North Korea
- National Treasure (North Korea)
- Names of Korea
- Natural monuments of North Korea
- Orders and medals of North Korea
- List of things named after Kim Il-sung
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