Manwoldae excavation delayed due to lack of prep

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Manwoldae excavation delayed due to lack of prep

South and North Korea’s joint excavation of Manwoldae, a 10th-century royal palace complex that stood near the border city of Kaesong during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), which was to resume Sept. 27, has been postponed, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Thursday. According to the CHA and the Ministry of Unification, North Korea made a request to delay the joint project citing a lack of preparation and workforce.

“As far as we are concerned, discussions will continue to resume the planned excavation,” an official from the Unification Ministry said. “The North said that it will let us know as soon as it completes preparations, and we’ll provide necessary support.”

The joint project was initiated in 2007 and discovered traces of 40 buildings and 16,500 relics, but came to a halt in 2015 after escalating tensions following a series of missile and nuclear tests by North Korea. The plan to resume the project was announced by the South Korean government on Sept. 11, adding that the two Koreas will hold a ceremony to celebrate the resumption of the excavation on Oct. 2.

Following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week, President Moon Jae-in told reporters that Kim accepted his proposal for 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 schedule subsequent talks on various fronts.

Moon earlier said that he and Kim agreed to hold high-level inter-Korean talks “at an early date.”

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