National Heroes of South Korea

The National heroes of South Korea are eminent men and women who have been instrumental in shaping the country's history through their achievements. Besides fighting in honor of the nation, a national hero is someone who makes major contributions in various disciplines like science, literature, sports, music or any social causes. Eminent personalities known worldwide for their accomplishments can be termed as the National heroes of South Korea.

Empress Myeongseong

Also known as Queen Min, Empress Myeongseong was the last reigning empress of Korea renowned for her contributions in the history of the nation. Empress Myeongseong was born in Seoul on 19 October, 1851. She is remembered for her effort in preventing Korea from foreign influence, especially Japan, during her reign.

Myeongseong's introduction of Western ideas and technology such as automobiles, trains, telephones, and electric lights were highly applauded. She was considered by many Japanese as a barrier in their ambitions of gaining total power and control over Korea.
In 1895, three women suspected of being the queen, were raped and slaughtered by hired assassins. Later, Empress Myeongseong was found by the assassins, who raped, dishonored and burnt her body. Her husband, Emperor Gojong awarded his wife the title "Myeongseong" and enshrined her as the first empress to be sanctified in Jongmyo, the state shrine of Korea. Today Empress Myeongseong is remembered for her courage and sacrifice and can be called a National hero of South Korea.

Hwang Woo-Suk

Dr Hwang Woo-Suk has been feted as a national hero of South Korea since 2004, when he and his research team announced a series of new scientific findings about embryonic stem cells. Dr Hwang and his team of researchers successfully cloned a human embryo, and produced stem cells that have a future potential for providing cure for a wide range of diseases from diabetes to Alzheimer.

Born on 29 January, 1953, in Buyeo County, South Korea of Chungcheong Province, Dr Hwang Woo-Suk is renowned worldwide for his discovery. He is a biomedical scientist and professor of biotechnology and theriogenology at Korea's leading university, Seoul National University.

Subsequent to his scientific breakthrough, Hwang Woo-Suk was surrounded by controversies and charged of unethical practices in his research work. Nevertheless, the South Korean government has provided ample financial support to the team, and aims to make the nation heart of future technology.

In spite of the negative allegations by a certain section, most Koreans take great pride in the pioneering work of Hwang Woo-Suk, in stem cell research. As a matter of fact, his experience mirrors the national fate and historical development of South Korea.


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