North, South Korea win heritage status with joint wrestling bid: UNESCO

30 November, 2018, 08:42 | Author: Donnie King
  • Kim Jong-il greets residents at one of Pyonyang's subway entrances

Washington effectively delayed the planned survey in August, and again last month, by declaring that it could violate United Nations sanctions.

Talks between the US and North Korea have stalled after US President Donald Trump called off a scheduled Pyongyang trip by his top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in August. "So that's something they agreed to and we look forward to Chairman Kim fulfilling his commitments". Kim, who doubles as director of the North's United Front Department, which is responsible for inter-Korean relations, is a former spy chief who headed North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau. "I hope inter-Korean relations will turn out as good".

But at a meeting with Moon in Paris last month, Azoulay suggested the requests be combined, and the idea was also taken up with North Korean officials. But he added, "Now we need to see results".

South Korean President Moon, however, is keen to improve relations and reduce tensions with North Korea, which past year were threatening to engulf the Korean Peninsula in war.

"It is created to incentivize North Korea to take concrete steps on denuclearization", said Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Last week the two announced that they had connected a road across their shared border for the first time in 14 years, while earlier this month the South gifted the North hundreds of tons of tangerines in exchange for mushrooms.




Re-establishing transport links is just part of the Moon administration's broader plans to economically integrate the economies of the two Koreas.

But for traditional Korean wrestling, ssireum, the South applied in 2016, a year after the North - which uses a different system to render Korean into English and transliterates it as ssirum.

Pyongyang is expected to dispatch a similar-sized inspection team, which will include officials from the DPRK's Ministry of Railways. But the DPRK (North Korea) still has all its nukes, all its missiles and all its military forces intact.

President Moon has also taken steps to ease military tensions with North Korea at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas. It has joined the two Koreas at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang (Indonesia).

Pompeo made the remarks during a telephone interview with a US radio station when asked about a working group recently launched between the USA and South Korea.

Seoul said the survey was purely aimed at gathering information on the current state of the North's rail system.

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