December 30, 2011 13:03
North and South Korea will resume excavation of the ruins of Manwoldae Palace in the North Korean city of Kaesong in March next year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Thursday. Seoul is also hoping to work with Pyongyang to have the folk song "Arirang" listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural asset.
The moves are part of the ministry's plan to improve inter-Korean relations through cultural exchanges.
Minister Choe Kwang-shik said excavation of the palace started in 2007 but was suspended under sanctions against the North on May 24 last year.
Seoul also wants the two Koreas to apply jointly to get “Arirang” listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity in March next year. It wants to include all versions of the song including those that exist in North Korea. In August 2009, South Korea applied for the inclusion of a version known as "Jeongseon Arirang."
Meanwhile, the ministry will increase the scope of concessions for performances, exhibitions and sports games from 1.26 million people this year to 1.71 million next year as part of an inclusiveness drive.
The Cultural Heritage Administration also pledged to lay the groundwork next year to include more traditional knowledge, customs, folklore, and games on the list of intangible cultural heritage including traditional craftsmanship.
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