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N. Korea asks for delay in joint excavation of historic palace site

North Korea on Thursday requested a delay in the joint excavation of an ancient palace site scheduled to begin later in the day, citing lack of preparations and workforce, the unification ministry said.

The two Koreas earlier agreed to launch a three-month joint survey from Thursday on the Manwoldae site in the North's border town of Kaesong where the palace of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) used to be located for about 400 years.

"Discussion will continue to resume the planned excavation," a ministry official said, adding that the government will provide necessary support. "The North said that it will let us know as soon as it completes preparations."


The two Koreas conducted seven rounds of joint excavations of the site from 2007 to 2015 and discovered traces of 40 buildings and 16,500 relics. The joint work, however, has since been suspended amid tensions over the North's missile and nuclear provocations.

Following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week, President Moon Jae-in told reporters that Kim accepted his proposal for the North Korea to display its cultural relics during an exhibition to be held in South Korea later this year to mark the 1,100th anniversary of the establishment of the Goryeo Dynasty. 

The official also said that the two Koreas will likely hold high-level talks in October to discuss implementation of the summit agreement that their leaders reached last week and determine schedules for subsequent talks on various fronts.

Moon earlier said that he and Kim agreed to hold high-level inter-Korean talks "at an early date" to follow up on their summit deals. (Yonhap)

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