Speech by Poet Ko Un
at the Seminar and Publicity-Event about Baekdu-daegan
Held by the Korea Forest Research Institute  at Mungyeong Saejae Pass  on June 10th 2010
and an article about him from SEOUL magazine  December 2010
On Thursday June 10th of 2010, we held an outdoor public Seminar and tourism-publicity-event about the Baekdu-daegan, the
gigantic mountain-system “Spine of Korea”, its cultural history and natural ecology.   This event was organized and hosted by the
Korea Forest Research Institute  국립산림과학원 or “Gungnip Sanrim Gwahagwon”.     It was held under the open sky up at the
Jo-ryeong Pass Third Gate in the Mungyeong-Saejae Provincial Park, right on the crest of the Baekdu-daegan range-line itself.  
The overall theme was: "Historical Significance and Traditional Knowledge of the Baekdu-daegan".

The most-famous speaker there was the famed poet
Ko Un  (disciple of Great Zen Master Hyobong, democracy & human-rights
activist, now perennially nominated for Nobel Literature Prize -- see more
here and below -- he has been highly praised by Gary
Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, M McClure and L Ferlinghetti.  He read his poems, such as here and here, and echoed my own thoughts
on the spiritual value of these mountains -- we felt a warm comradeship.

Below is the translated transcript of the speech he gave about mountain ecology at the International Forestry Convention held by
the KFRI at the COEX complex in Seoul, in the subsequent August.  He told me that it was pretty much the same speech as he
gave at Mungyeong, so this transcript can serve as a representation of what he said at
our event.  It is a profound statement...:
posing with Ko Un,  Mungyeong-Saejae, 2010.06.10
Interview-article about Ko Un from SEOUL magazine,  December 2010