This is how the Kumgang mineral water became known to the world along with Mt Kumgang.
The 7th king of the feudal Joson dynasty, Sejo, is a renowned despot among successive kings of the dynasty for having usurped the throne after killing his nephew Tanjong.
He killed no only his nephew but also a lot of people including his blood brother. Grudge against him mounted. Aware of it, he had to live in constant fear.
One day an ugly boil has formed on his face. Soon it got worse and spread to the body.
He could not make public appearance. All medicines had no effect on it.
On hearing the rumour of the Kumgang mineral water, he went to Mt Kumgang. He saw that a big house was built near the mineral spring and the water was brought there for bath every day.
When taking a bath, he had a 12-year-old child who was familiar with the mountain wash his body.
True to the rumour, the mineral water took effect, and he got better.
Towards the end of midsummer the boil almost disappeared.
It triggered a new anxiety in his mind. If the fact that my body was washed by a little child of Mt Kumgang every day, my dignity as a king of a state, he thought, may be damaged.
One day he said to the boy, “Wherever you go, don’t talk that you touched my body with your hands.”
“You are forbidden, Your Majesty, to circulate the rumour that the hand of Bodhisattva Kwanseium touched your body.”
He went outside, and did not turn up again.
Next day the king had a relapse into the disease. He continued his treatment with the mineral water for many days, but in vain. He had to go back without curing the disease.
For a long time the people ascribed his relapse into the disease to his persistent despotic demeanour, to the revealing of his true colours even in the mysterious mountain.
Seeing this, they said that even the mineral water in Mt Kumgang could identify who was honest-minded and who was not.