Paektu, Mount

Paektu or Baekdu, Mount,

volcanic peak, 9,003 ft (2,744 m) high, on the border between North Korea and China. The highest mountain in Korea, it rises from a basalt lava plateau that is the headwaters of the Yalu (Amnok), Tuman (Tumen), and Songhua rivers. A crater lake, Heaven Lake, is at the top of the mountain. A massive eruption in A.D. 946 created the caldera where the lake is located and deposited 2 in. (5 cm) of volcanic ash as far away as S Hokkaido, Japan. The stratovolcano's last eruption was in 1903. Koreans consider the mountain, which is traditionally regarded as their ancestral place of origin, to be sacred, and it is a popular tourist destination. Mt. Paektu, called Changbai Mt. by the Chinese, is also known as White Head Mt.