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Koreas expand projects in tourism and culture

Mar 28,2006
Government agencies are getting more aggressive in integrating North Korean elements into their cultural programs. They are developing tour packages that include destinations in the North and the South, and exhibiting historical artifacts from the North.
The Korea National Tourism Organization said yesterday that it was offering a 10-day tour of attractions in both the North and South.
“We’re mainly promoting to affluent Russian tourists, but the tourism packages are open to everyone,” said Lim Jong-woo, a tourism agency official.
The packages cost an average of $3,000 for a 10-day trip; sightseers can depart from Beijing, China, or Vladivostok, Russia. They first travel to Pyongyang, Mount Kumgang and Kaesong in North Korea and return to their starting point. They then travel to Seoul, Gyeongju and other sites in South Korea. There is no travel across the Demilitarized Zone.
Also yesterday, the National Museum of Korea announced that it would stage a special exhibition of North Korean artifacts in June. This will be the first time North Korean cultural assets will be displayed here through a government agreement.
At a press conference yesterday, the museum’s curator, Lee Kun-moo, said 65 artifacts from the Stone Age through the Joseon Dynasty would be exhibited. Twenty-five paintings will also be on display.
”The artifacts will be transported by land from Pyongyang through Mount Kumgang,” Mr. Lee said, “where they will be unpacked and examined by North and South Korean authorities. They will then be moved to Seoul.”
He said many of the artifacts will be new to South Koreans; even their photographs have not been displayed here before.


by Wohn Dong-hee


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