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Koreas set to resume ancient palace project

Dozens of South Korean historians will visit North Korea in the coming weeks, as the two Koreas are restarting a joint excavation of an ancient royal palace site in the communist nation, officials here said Monday.

Seoul's unification ministry plans to provide 276 million won (US$268,000) in assistance for the project, according to its spokesman Kim Eui-do.

It would mark the resumption of the inter-Korean program, designed to excavate the site of Manwoldae, a Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) palace, in two years and seven months.

An advance team of 13 members of the South Korean Office of the Association of Inter-Korean Historians will head to the North's border town of Kaesong on Tuesday.

Thirty-two others will also travel there until the middle of next month.

"The (South Korean) government has continuously allowed pure social and cultural exchanges with North Korea in the non-political sector," Kim said at a press briefing.

Seoul has approved the Manwoldae program in consideration of the significance of preserving Korea's cultural assets, he added.

The inter-Korean project began in 2007 but came to a halt shortly after the death of the North's leader Kim Jong-il in late 2011. (Yonhap)
Korea Herald daum