Giving a dog as a present is always a big decision, but rarely is it a step towards world peace. Meet Gomi the Pungsan and her new arrivals…
11월 9일에 태어난 ‘곰이’의 새끼들입니다. 엄마개와 여섯 새끼들 모두 아주 건강합니다. 사진은 오늘 오후에 문재인 대통령과 김정숙 여사가 관저 앞마당에서 곰이와 새끼들을 살피는 모습입니다. pic.twitter.com/pkP6KpgRZJ
— 대한민국 청와대 (@TheBlueHouseKR) November 25, 2018
Diplomatic dogs and puppies for peace
This autumn, the leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un sent a very special gift to his counterpart in South Korea, Moon Jae-in: two Pungsan hunting dogs. The gift was an important gesture towards thawing the political ice that exists between the two countries.
But what no-one knew was that one of the dogs, Gomi, was pregnant at the time! She has since given birth to a healthy litter of six puppies, three boys and three girls, who have been nicknamed “peace puppies”.
Gomi, her fellow Pungsan Songgang and her brood join President Moon’s other dogs, including rescue dog, Tory. And by the look of photos, everybody is very happy with the arrangement!
This isn’t the first time the Koreans have exchanged dogs to promote peace. In 2000, the North Korean leader of the time Kim Jong-il also gave two Pungsan dogs to South Korea’s president Kim Dae-jung. And, in return, Kim Dae-jung gave Kim Jong-il two Kindo dogs.
The Pungsan: a rare and prized dog breed
Gomi, her puppies and Songgang aren’t just any old dog breed, they are highly valued Pungsans. Pungsans are one of only 3 dog breeds native to Korea and were historically known for hunting in freezing mountainous areas. They are recognizable by their thick white coat, large size and muscular body shape with tails that curl over their backs.
The Pungsan is so rare that little is known about it outside Korea, and is not recognised by any of the major kennel clubs. Due to this rarity, it is highly valued in Korea, which is why the pregnant Gomi and Songgang were such important diplomatic gifts, and why the new arrivals truly are “peace puppies”.
Read also: Smokey the dog: A World War II hero