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Korea retracts application for Seoul City Wall's UNESCO heritage listing

The South Korean government scrapped a plan to put an ancient wall built in 1396 on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cultural Heritage Foundation said Tuesday.

The decision came after the International Council on Monuments and Sites, an advisory group to UNESCO, ruled earlier this month "not to inscribe" the wall onto the World Heritage list.

The Seoul City Wall is an 18.6-kilometer-long wall surrounding Hanyang, the former capital of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and present-day central Seoul.

The ICOMOS panels, whose advice is tantamount to a decision of the UN body, concluded the wall failed to fulfill the requirement for outstanding universal value, and that it has relied too much on state supervision to be maintained, which hampers the continuation of tradition.

"As competition for inscription has been rising, evaluation is also getting very strict. We will do more thorough research and review when we apply for it in the future," the CHA said in a statement.

The CHA and the Seoul metropolitan government plan to try to get it inscribed in 2020. (Yonhap)
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