Lawmakers visit royal palace site in NK

By: Do Je-hae

A South Korean parliamentary delegation traveled to Gaeseong, North Korea, Monday to inspect a joint excavation project at an ancient palace site, according to the Ministry of Unification.

The 16-member delegation consists of lawmakers of the National Assembly’s foreign affairs and unification committee led by Saenuri Party lawmaker Na Kyung-won. This is the first visit by South Korean lawmakers to the North since a 2013 trip to the joint industrial complex in Kaesong as part of an annual Assembly audit session.

“This visit will build momentum to continue cultural exchanges between the two Koreas,” Rep. Na said in a statement.

The unification ministry said Monday that the lawmakers crossed the border as scheduled and did not encounter any problems in customs and quarantine procedures. The delegation checked the proceedings of the inter-Korean excavation underway at Manwoldae, a palace site of the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392). The lawmakers were also scheduled to visit a museum in Kaesong, where around 100 artifacts uncovered from the site are on display, before returning home later in the day.

Researchers of the two Koreas have been working jointly to excavate the site which was designated as a world cultural heritage in 2013.

The Manwoldae project began in 2007 during the Roh Moo-hyun administration, but suffered setbacks in 2011 amid military tensions between the two Koreas.

The National Palace Museum of Korea has exhibited antiquities excavated from the palace.


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