North Korea


"A young North Korean girl confidently bests a struggling Western man at a game of baduk."
"Confrontation" by Mansudae Art Studio's Kim Hyon Myong (2006), 84 x 129cm, oil on canvas.

"In this photo from Chosun, North Korea’s propaganda magazine, children play baduk during an amateur competition. The ancient board game has recently experienced a boom in popularity in North Korea, and many parents have cited its positive effects on brain development. 'JoongAng Ilbo'"
Children playing in an amateur competition in Chosun.

North Korea (DPRK: Democratic People's Republic of Korea) is one of the two countries in the Korean Peninsula since 1948. The other is South Korea (ROK: Republic of Korea). Though North Korea has no professional system, their "amateur" players have achieved respectable results in international amateur events such as WAGC.


  • 'baduk used to be prohibited until the late 1980s, seen as a vestige of a feudal society and criticized as an unproductive capitalist pastime.'
  • 'It was in 1989 that Baduk in North Korea became a sport supported by the government, when the Joseon Baduk Association was founded'
  • 'The North joined the International Go Federation in 1995.'
  • 'The officially recorded Baduk playing population in North Korea <in or before 2007 was> about 10,000'. By 2014, another source put it at around 30,000.
  • 'Every year <at least up to 2007>, the association sends about 10 players to China to stay and be trained by the Chinese professionals, and lets the players participate in Chinese amateur tournaments.'

International competition

  • 'The first appearance of a North Korean player in an international Baduk event was in the 13th World Amateur Go Championship in 1991.'
  • Choe Eun-a, 'just 7 at the time', placed eighth in the Womens World Amateur Go Championship.
  • winners of the 2000 and 2004 International Amateur Pair Go Championship
  • between 1997 and 2012, they 'reached 2nd place twice <in the World Amateur Go Championship> and 3rd place thrice, and they have placed in the top 5 every year (if they participated)'
  • In 2008, Jo Tae Won (趙大元) won the amateur section of the 1st World Mind Sports Games Go Competition. In the WAGC, he finished 2nd in 2005 and 3rd in 2006 and 2010.


  • '<The North Korean Go program> Eunbyul ... made its global debut in 1997. The software won the Computer Go Competition for four consecutive years'. The program is the predecessor of Silver Star program. See Gifu Challenge for the tournament.
  • MyBaduk (Koryo Baduk) was a North Korean server.

External links

North Korea last edited by on July 17, 2023 - 11:09
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