PUBG in-game Korean signs/messages

Non-asians who play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have probably encountered places in the game where there have been messages painted on the walls/floor in some foreign Asian language. A commonly-discussed one is this:

The written text is 極東의無敵者. This is Korean, specifically a combination of Hangul and Hanja. Hanja have Hangul equivalents, so the sentence becomes 극동의무적자 in pure Hangul. This Hangul can also be romanised as Geugdonguimujeogja.

For fun, let’s break things down word by word:

Hanja Hangul Romanised Hangul Meaning
極東 극동 geugdong East Asia / the Far East
n/a ui “of”, i.e. a possession particle
無敵 무적 mujeog unrivalled, i.e. invincible/invulnerable
ja “one who is” (comes after an adjective)

Therefore, roughly translated to English, we get something like “The invincible of the Far East”. The hanja have the same meaning in traditional Chinese too.

Okay, so what is 極東의無敵者 / 극동의무적자 exactly? What does it refer to?

극동의무적자 is an actual Korean film released in 1970. Wikipedia doesn’t include a plot description, nor does Movist, but but Daum does:

Korean: 핵연구의 세계적 권위자인 제임스 박 박사가 세계원자력세미나 참석차 동경에 방문했다가 신원을 알 수 없는 이들에게 납치당한다. 이에 한국 측 정보기관에서는 첩보원 HS-7호(남궁원)에게 이 사건을 담당케 하고, 이에 ‘강’이라는 이름으로 홍콩에서 활동 중이던 HS-7호가 동경으로 온다. 그는 이 사건이 일본 암흑가의 이케다(이대엽) 일파와 관련 있을 것으로 보고 그들 조직에 접근한다. 조직의 보스(허장강)는 강의 정체를 의심하여 기미코(남정임)에게 그를 감시케 하고, 수차례의 임무로 그를 테스트한다. 태연하게 도박사 행세를 하던 강은 이케다 조직이 중공과 연관된 왕태산(최성호) 일파와 접선할 예정임을 알게 된다.

English (badly translated by me, and probably incorrect in some manner): Dr. James PARK, a world-renowned nuclear physicist, is kidnapped during a nuclear energy seminar in Tokyo by an unknown group. The Korean Intelligent Agency gets involved, delegating the investigation to secret agent named “HS-7” (a.k.a. “Gang” (“river” in English)), who is actively stationed in Hong Kong but immediately heads to Tokyo. HS-7 determines the kidnapping was done by “Ikeda”, who is part of an Japanese underworld organisation, and attempts to infiltrate the org he’s part of. The boss of the org is suspicious of HS-7, sending “Kimiko” to monitor his activities and repeatedly test his loyalty. HS-7 discovers that the org has associations with “Taesan WANG”, an individual with direct ties to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).

  • “HS-7” / “Gang” is played by 남궁원 (Won NAMKOONG)
  • “Kimiko” is played by 남정임 (Jeong-im NAM)
  • “Boss” is played by 허장강 (Jang-kang HEO)
  • “Ikeda” is played by 이대엽 (Dae-yeob LEE)
  • “Taesan WANG” is played by 최성호 (Sung-ho CHOI)

Someone posted the film on YouTube, without subtitles (not surprising for a film of this age). If you can understand Korean and like espionage/spy films, you might dig it.

So how does this relate to PUBG exactly?

It’s hard to say. I can see indirect correlations (e.g. maybe some of what’s going on in PUBG is caused by strange government organisations or espionage), but my gut feeling is that someone at Bluehole Studio in South Korea is simply a big fan of the film.