US Naval Academy Discovers 150-Year-Old Battle Flags Taken From Kim Jong Un's Ancestors

History
The captured Sujagi aboard USS Colorado June 1871. Shown with it are United States Marines (from left to right) Cpl. Charles Brown, Pvt. Hugh Purvis, and Capt. McLane Tilton.
WIkimedia Commons

The US Naval Academy just made a startling discovery recalling the violent past between the US and North Korea's Kim dynasty while moving around some old war memorabilia.


When reshuffling some old war trophies in the academy's Mahan Hall, staff found old Korean battle standards in the framework that hadn't been opened since 1920, the US Naval Institute's news service reports.

The flags recall a bloody history of US-Korean relations, and actually belonged to a Kim Ung U — a direct ancestor of Kim Jong Un.

The story starts in 1866, when a US merchant ship arrived in Pyongyang to try and open Korea up to trade. Fearing the Westerners had come to sack their temples, the Koreans killed the crew and burned the ship, according to the Institute.

Five years later, five US warships returned on a mission to establish diplomatic relations, but the Koreans fired on them. The US Marines responded and seized several coastal towns, taking some of the flags with them, according to the Institute.

The US sent the flags to the Naval Academy, and simply forgot about them for almost a century.

Today, when the tensions between the US and North Korea seem higher than ever before, the rediscovery of these flags points to a long, violent history between the two feuding states.

Read the full story at the US Naval Institute's news service here >>

More from Business Insider: 

The Marine Corps' dune buggy drone jammer may have downed two Iranian drones in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military have officials announced.

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer was transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 18 when two Iranian drones came dangerously close, according to U.S. Central Command.

"This was a defensive action by the USS Boxer in response to aggressive interactions by two Iranian UAS [unmanned aerial systems] platforms in international waters," CENTCOM spokesman Army Lt. Col. Earl Brown said in a statement. "The Boxer took defensive action and engaged both of these platforms."

Read More Show Less

On July 17, Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Stayskal briefly met with President Donald Trump at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina to discuss the eponymous legislation that would finally allow victims of military medical malpractice to sue the U.S. government.

A Green Beret with terminal lung cancer, Stayskal has spent the last year fighting to change the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court precedent that bars service members like him from suing the government for negligence or wrongdoing.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon is no longer topless. On Tuesday, the Senate voted to confirm Mark Esper as the United States' first permanent defense secretary in more than seven months.

Esper is expected to be sworn in as defense secretary later on Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

"We are grateful for the Senate leadership and the Senate Armed Services Committee's willingness to quickly move through this process," Hoffman said.

Read More Show Less
(Paramount Pictures via YouTube)

The new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick that dropped last week was indisputably the white-knuckle thrill ride of the summer, a blur of aerial acrobatics and beach volleyball that made us wonder how we ever lost that lovin' feeling in the decades since we first met Pete "Maverick" Mitchell back in 1986.

But it also made us wonder something else: Why is Maverick still flying combat missions in an F/A-18 Super Hornet as a 57-year-old captain after more than 30 years of service?

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan called on Tuesday for an explanation of comments by U.S. President Donald Trump in which he said he could win the Afghan war in just 10 days by wiping out Afghanistan but did not want to kill 10 million people.

Read More Show Less