In 1902 the Korean Emperor Gojong decided to create a national anthem, and enlisted the services of Franz von Eckert, who almost 20 years earlier had helped in the creation of Japan‘s national anthem and was now living in Korea. The lyrics were written by Young Hwan Min, who was an envoy to Russia. After the anthem was completed, however, the people didn’t accept it due to the complicated melody, the difficult lyrics, and the long length of the song. Korea’s autonomy was also disappearing by this time as well, and in 1910 Korea was formally annexed by Japan, after which time the anthem was banned.
During the period of Japanese rule, the Japanese did publish an alternate version of the anthem, substituting “Emperor” for “God” and the anthem being a praise to the Emperor rather than a wish for independence and freedom for the nation. With the changes to the anthem under Japanese rule, the text more closely resembles the lyrics of the Japanese anthem.
Special thanks to: Moo-Jae Koh for some of this information and the lyrics, and Paweł Ciupak for the music file.