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Culture minister to request UNESCO's cooperation to list DMZ as World Heritage

In a meeting with the head of the Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Tuesday, South Korean Culture Minister Park Yang-woo plans to ask the United Nations body to inscribe the inter-Korean Demilitarized Zone as a World Heritage, according to the ministry. 


Park is scheduled to meet with Director-General Audrey Azoulay on the sidelines of the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture, set to begin Tuesday morning in Paris.

In the bilateral meeting, Park will request UNESCO's cooperation in South Korea's bid to list the DMZ as UNESCO-designated asset under the joint domain of South and North Korea, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed the World Heritage inscription plan to the global community during his keynote speech in the UN General Assembly in September, laying out his vision to make the tension-filled DMZ into a global peace zone.

The UNESCO director-general has thrown her support behind the vision.

During the bilateral meeting on Tuesday, Park also plans to appeal for UNESCO's cooperation in Seoul's bid to inscribe two other South Korean heritage assets -- mudflats and tumuli from the ancient Gaya kingdom -- in the World Heritage list, according to the ministry.

Park will discuss ways to step up bilateral cultural cooperation at the talks, as well as during his meetings with counterparts from other nations scheduled for the day, the ministry said.

Attending the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture the same day, the South Korean policymaker will discuss the forum's theme -- the impact of cultural policies on sustainable development -- with some 140 culture ministers and high ranking officials from around the world.

Park will focus, during his speech, on how the global competitiveness of "hallyu," or Korean Wave, content led to the growth of related industries.

The minister, in particular, plans to propose to the forum the development of an index to quantify the impact of culture on national economy as well as on the quality of people's lives.

"It will be a good opportunity to share with culture ministers from participating countries the point that the massive ripple effect of culture (as seen in the hallyu story) will make substantial contributions to sustainable development," Park was quoted by the ministry as saying. (Yonhap)