“From my experience as the King Sejong Station, I get the courage to get over whatever comes at me.”
Hong Jung-ho, the 20th over-winter member of the South Pole study in the Korea Polar Research Institute, had been in the King Sejong Station located on the Barton Peninsula, King George Island for one year. The King Sejong Station, constructed in 1988, is Korea’s first base in Antarctica. It has obtained worthy results for the last 20 years. Things, for example, like studying the climatic change in the Antarctic, discovering new materials, and researching fishery resources.
Construction of a second base is under discussion. That will be located on the King George Island at a low latitude in a warm sub-Antarctic region. But it could restrict polar research that is only feasible at high latitudes such as the research of aurora, terrestrial magnetism, astronomy, and glaciology.
The 20th over-winter party comprising of 17 scientists and engineers routinely collects geophysical and meteorological
records. During that time, he studied oceanic life. Researching at the bottom of marine organism, he bailed soil in the deep sea using special equipments. Because nature has a system of circulation, when the dead organisms lie on the bottom, the other takes it so it raises up to the marine ecosystem. The key to circulating is marine biology.
He applied for the Korea Antarctic Research Program to be effected by his adviser who was the ninth winter expedition member. In the selecting test to choose who is going to be a member of the exploration, the most important qualification is personality. 17 people living in a small space moreover passing the cold weather, is ample to make trouble between people. So the ability to consider others’ feeling is crucial. At first, his parents were worried to for him going over there, but he gave them information about the Antarctic and tried to pursued them that it is not a too
dangerous place as they were concerned The daily routine in the King Sejong Station was regular. He got up at seven
o’clock, attended a meeting at eight o’clock and at five o’clock the formal schedule ended.
“It was not boring or lonely as manypeople worried. We interacted with foreign bases such as helping to fix machinery problems. The winter in the Antarctic is pretty cold, heavy wind rises and cannot get much sunshine. But not to feel depression, we often played games and held events. In the Antarctic Olympics, Korea won the silver
medal among seven countries,” scratching his head, he said timidly. Although there was difficulty in communication with another countries, because they cannot understand each other’s English pronunciation, he was intimate with not only his members but also foreign bases.
In this semester, he has deciding his major at a laboratory of diversity in Hanyang University, and finishing the master’s degree he wishes to continue his work in a doctoral course. After that, for studying polar researching more in depth, he is planning to apply for the continent base again.