President Lincoln VS King Sejong the Great

If you ask an American who is the most respected president in the history, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) would be on top of the list. Lincoln was born as the only son to a poor farmer in a small log cabin in Kentucky. Even amid difficult conditions, he was admitted to the bar by studying on his own. He entered the political world and went on to become the 16th President of the United States. He was a great man not because he was the president but because he unified the country which had been bitterly divided into south and north even to point of engaging in a war. He also freed the slaves which was a landmark event in the history of human rights.

Lincoln still inspires many Americans even today. His image is on the money Americans use every day. He is the trademark of Ford Motors, a global motor company. There are cities and art centers named after him. Even on the famous Mount Rushmore known for the large rocks sculptures, his face is engraved.

In Korean history, there is also a leader who is loved by Korean people even today like Lincoln. King Sejong(1397-1450) was the 4th King of the Joseon Dynasty. While he was on the throne, he accomplished a great deal in politics, economics and culture. However, his greatest achievement was the invention of Hangeul, the Korean alphabet which Koreans of today use. At the time of King Sejong, the common people could not read so they were often inconvenienced and at disadvantage. He felt pity for them. So he invented Hangeul. He was the first leader who created an alphabet for his people, a historical event which cannot be found anywhere in world history. He was a true leader who loved people beyond their social status.

For example, he gave maternity leave of 100 days to servants, the lowest in the social rank. Thus, he realized the welfare policy of the 21st century in advance. He appointed Jang Yeong-sil, a servant, to a high ranking government official position, introducing policies beyond imagination of the social system at the time.

Today, he appears on the money of Korea like Lincoln. Not only that, there is Sejong Science Station on King George Island at the South Pole. The first Aegis Weapon System, KDX-III, is the King Sejong Aegis Warship. There are also cities, roads and buildings named after him which show how much Koreans love and respect the King.

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