GEOJE, Jul. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — A 13-year-old American girl has written a letter to Korean authorities in which she apologized for taking pebbles known as “mongdol” from Hakdong Mongdol Beach in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province.
Government officials at Hallyeohaesang National Park said yesterday that they received the handwritten letter along with two mongdol pebbles on July 10.
Irene, the sender of the package as introduced in the letter, said that she visited the beach with her family and took the pebbles back with her as a souvenir after finding them to be “so beautiful.”
The girl, however, went on to say that her mother found out later and taught her “how long Mother Nature had labored to make these beautiful stones” which is why she decided to return them “to their rightful place.”
She ended the letter by writing “I’m sorry” in Korean.
Enclosed in the postal delivery was another letter from Irene’s grandmother, who wrote that her granddaughter had cried after being reprimanded by her mother, and that she was mailing the stones on behalf of her granddaughter who left the pebbles behind with her.
Measuring 30 to 50 meters in width and 2 kilometers in length, Hakdong Mongdol Beach is cited as one of the largest pebble beaches in the nation.
The sound of waves crashing against the pebbles was designated as one of the “100 most beautiful sounds of Korea” by the Ministry of Environment in 2001.
The view of the beach at night, which makes the pebbles seem like black pearls, attracts many visitors every year.
But officials have been having a hard time trying to preserve the age-old pebbles, as tourists have started taking them with them as souvenirs, while others are swept away into the sea by waves.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)