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King Sejong’s love for talented people

King Sejong was not only an outstanding king, he also had many capable people serving him. Because the king studied and worked hard, those under him also had to do the same. There is a story that illustrates King Sejong the Great’s love for talented people.

Of the many famous prime ministers during King Sejong’s reign, the most famous is Hwang Hui. Hwang Hui was outstanding from King Taejong’s (Sejong’s father) time and worked as the highest prime minister (the highest government post in the Joseon dynasty). He lived to be 90 years old, and it is said starting from age 70 he asked to resign but King Sejong refused. Records show that when Hwang Hui said commuting to work was difficult because of poor health, King Sejong personally provided a planquin (covered litter) or allowed him to work from home. Prime Minister Hwang Hui was finally allowed to retire at age 87. There is also a moving story of how he gave his own coat to cover a young researcher who had fallen asleep while reading a book deep into the night.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)