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North, South Korea Win UNESCO Heritage Status with Joint Wrestling Bid

The two Koreas had originally filed separate applications for their traditional form of wrestling to be recognised on the UN cultural agency's world heritage list.

North and South Korea marked a new step in their reconciliation efforts Monday as UNESCO accepted their joint bid for Korean wrestling to be recognised as part of the world's cultural heritage.

North and South Korea marked a new step in their reconciliation efforts Monday as UNESCO accepted their joint bid for Korean wrestling to be recognised as part of the world's cultural heritage.

North and South Korea marked a new step in their reconciliation efforts Monday as UNESCO accepted their joint bid for Korean wrestling to be recognised as part of the world's cultural heritage.

The two Koreas had originally filed separate applications for their traditional form of wrestling to be recognised on the UN cultural agency's world heritage list. "The fact that both Koreas accepted to join their respective applications is unprecedented," UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in a statement, adding, "This inscription, through a joint application, constitutes a historic first step on the road to inter-Korean reconciliation."

"The fact that both Koreas accepted to join their respective applications is unprecedented," UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said in a statement."This inscription, through a joint application, constitutes a historic first step on the road to inter-Korean reconciliation."
Known as Ssirum for North Korea and Sssireum for the South each uses a different system to render the language into English wrestling has been practised at village festivals for centuries. Nationwide competitions are still held every Chuseok, the Korean harvest festival, on either side of the border.

Known as Ssirum for North Korea and Sssireum for the South each uses a different system to render the language into English wrestling has been practised at village festivals for centuries.

Nationwide competitions are still held every Chuseok, the Korean harvest festival, on either side of the border.

For wrestling, the South applied in 2016, a year after the North. But at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Paris last month, Azoulay suggested the requests be combined, and the idea was also taken up with North Korean oficials.
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The joint bid was made possible by a rapid diplomatic thaw between the two Koreas with three summits this year between Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The two Koreas are still technically at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, sealing the division of the peninsula with an impenetrable border.

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