|calendar>>August 25. 2011 Juch 100|
Lake Baikal Marked with Footprints of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il
Pyongyang, August 25 (KCNA) -- General Secretary Kim Jong Il cruised Lake Baikal, a large natural lake, on Tuesday during his unofficial visit to Siberia and the Far East Region of Russia.
The lake is the unforgettable historical place visited by President Kim Il Sung in July 1961 on his way of foreign tour.
Kim Jong Il got aboard the passenger ship Inperiya and cruised the lake carrying with him the DPRK-Russia friendship just as the President did half a century ago. While cruising the lake, Kim Jong Il recollected in profound reverence the brilliant life and exploits of the President who devoted his all to the friendship among countries and the human cause of independence.
He said the lake, a scenic spot of picturesque Siberia, is a pride of the Russian people.
Situated between the Buryatiya Republic and Irkutsk Region like new moon, Baikal which means "a deep and rich lake" is a natural lake. It is known as the deepest one in the world. It covers over 31, 700 square kilometers and its perimeter is 2,100 kilometers, it lies 455 meters above sea level and its center is 1,643 meters deep.
The lake is believed to have been formed as a result of various phase precipitation for tens of millions of years. It was known by Russians and Buryats who explored Siberia in the latter half of the 17th century. It is famous for its water remaining transparent as deep as more than 40 meters, spectacular natural scenery, inhabitation of different living things including Baikal seal, Baikal white salmon, sturgeon and legends about it.
From olden times inhabitants around the lake used to call it a sea. Its 610 km-long length is equivalent to that of the distance between Moscow and Sankt-Peterburg.
There are many legends about the lake which has 336 rivers flowing into it and the River Angara, the only river that flows out of it.
One of them says:
An old man named Baikal had 300 daughters. He loved daughter named Angara more than any others for her beautiful looks though she was not as obedient to him as others. One day he detained her inside a high tower to protect her from any misfortune.
Even its wall was of no help. She eventually ran towards her lover Yenisei in quest of freedom. But they failed to meet each other because her angry father threw rocks in her way. Inhabitants around the lake created this legend hundreds of years ago to answer the question as to why the River Angara does not flow into the lake but goes out of it.
There are about 1,200 species of animals and plants on the lake. Majority of them are hardly found in any other places except the lake. Among them are shellfishes and fishes of dozens of species and even about 100,000 seals.
Baikal is a large natural laboratory in the true sense of the word.
The Baikal Museum is one of the three lake museums in the world.
It is the view of scholars in the world that even centuries' study of the Lake Baikal is not enough to clarify all the secrets of the lake.
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