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North Korea

Author winterkjm
#1 | Posted: 5 May 2017 06:24 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Its impossible to know if the DPRK will ever update their tentative list or which sites will move forward toward a completed nomination dossier. However, there is some interesting developments. The DPRK has been more active with UNESCO, via the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves designated in 2009 and 2014.

Mt. Myohyang and the Relics in and around the Mountain (2000) *UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (2009)
Historical Relics in Pyongyang (2000)
Mt. Kumgang and the Historical Relics in and around the Mountain (2000)
Caves in Kujang Area (2000)
Mt. Chilbo (2000) *UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (2014)

Potential for inclusion in regards to a Tidal Flat nomination
The Coast of the Bohai Gulf and the Yellow Sea of China
Southwestern Coast Tidal Flats (ROK)

One component lies adjacent to the DPRK border:
Dandong Yalu River Estuary National Nature Reserve, Liaoning

Major Concerns?
Pidansom Tideland Reclamation Project–reclaiming 5,500 hectares from the water.
Taegyedo Tideland Reclamation Project-reclaiming 8,800 hectares from the water.

Paektu Mountain is the other logical addition to the DPRK's tentative list. China recently sent their nomination, Vertical Vegetation Landscape and Volcanic Landscape in Changbai Mountain, which is adjacent and surrounds Paektu Mountain. China, compared the propertiary to Mount Kumgang.

The DPRK probably has the strongest candidates in 3 Natural nominations. Mount Kumgang, Paektu Mountain (transnational), and Tidal Flats (transnational).

Off course, North Korea has plenty of historic Buddhist temples, Seowon (Confucian Academies), dolmens, fortresses, and tombs. However, if and when reunification happens or if the DPRK takes on the iniative, I doubt this would lead to that many completely new nominations, but rather extensions to existing WHS in South Korea. One cultural aspect little found (if at all) in the South, that is more prevalent in the North, is cultural sites connected to Goguryeo, Goryeo, and Balhae dynasties/cultures. As far as I know, the only significant Balhae sites are in China and Eastern Russia. In regards to Goguryeo, I have a hard time believing that the WHS Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom, which is literally on the border between China and the DPRK, does not have any related important sites just across the modern border? This might be an extension worth pursuing to fully encompass the importance of the already inscribed WHS, but the question remains is there any worthy components on the DPRK side? ICOMOS has encouraged cooperation between the two state parties, but to little avail.

"ICOMOS encourages DPR Korea and PR of China, who is
also nominating a site of the Koguryan culture, to look in
the future for a possibility of a joint nomination. " - 2004

Ideal Tentative List
- Mt. Kumgang and the Historical Relics in and around the Mountain
- Mt. Myohyang and the Relics in and around the Mountain
- Paektu Mountain (transnational)
- Coastal Tidal Flats (transnational)

Potentially Dropped Nominations
Caves of Kujang Area (national/regional significance)
Mt Chilbo (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is enough)
Historical Relics in Pyongyang (Authenticity issues, national significance)

Author winterkjm
#2 | Posted: 13 Jan 2019 00:20 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Mt. Kumgang and the Historical Relics in and around the Mountain (2000) registered as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2018.

As inter-Korean ties continue to progress, there has been increased cooperation in regards to cultural heritage. This article outlines already proposed and discussed projects between both Korea's about extending the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (2009) WHS and the Historic Monuments and Sites of Kaesong (2013) WHS.

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty [Extension]
- Jereung and Hureung tombs in Gaeseong

"Of these, 40 were royal tombs for Joseon Dynasty kings and their consorts (and there are a further 2 located in DPR Korea)." - ICOMOS

Author winterkjm
#3 | Posted: 8 Feb 2021 13:50 
There has been some challenges finding photos for North Korean Tentative sites that are in the public domain. We do have some users who have visited North Korea and it would be great if any representative photos could be found. Currently, we only have a photo posted for Mt. Kumgang and the Historical Relics in and around the Mountain.

Author watkinstravel
#4 | Posted: 10 Feb 2021 16:54 
I have a photo of a random temple in the Mt. Myohyang site. If you still need it I could do a review I guess though there isn't a lot to say.

Author winterkjm
#5 | Posted: 10 Feb 2021 20:20 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Mt. Myohyang

This is a stunning 360 view of Pohyon Temple. There are plenty of great photos of most of the North Korean TWHS, but the challenge is either getting permission, finding photos within our community, or a representative photo available in the public domain. Is this the temple you have a photo of? Or is it really just a photo of an obscure temple within the proposed area?

Author watkinstravel
#6 | Posted: 11 Feb 2021 18:10 
Unfortunately it was raining for most of the time we were in the area and my photo of that particular temple is wet and not very good. It is of another temple nearby when the sun briefly appeared. North Korea being what it is, the guides would not entertain the idea of altering plans and running back to revisit Pohyon.

Author watkinstravel
#7 | Posted: 19 Feb 2021 13:53 
Actually maybe the photo of the Pohyon Temple would work. How do I best send it to you?

Author Zoe
#8 | Posted: 5 Mar 2021 02:31 | Edited by: Zoe 
...will upload some pics.

I just realized that old monk you mentioned in the review is standing around at the entrance of the hall like a fixed statue. One of these tours arriving must be the highlight of his day.

Author winterkjm
#9 | Posted: 5 Jun 2021 04:20 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Two interesting tidbits from the Advisory Body documents in relation to the DPRK.

North Korea's official nomination for 2022 is Mt. Kumgang – Diamond Mountain from the Sea *South Korea has proposed a transnational property that would include Mt. Seorak, this proposal has largely been ignored according to reports

Mundok Migratory Bird Reserve (Ramsar site) in North Korea would be a viable component to the "Getbol, Korean Tidal Flat" nomination according to IUCN.

The opportunity for collaboration is obvious, but unfortunately there is lack of interest from one side. The WHC committee would swoon over the chance to inscribe anything between North and South Korea, that much is clear.

Author christravelblog
#10 | Posted: 10 Jun 2021 07:36 | Edited by: christravelblog 
Mt. Myohyang and the Relics in and around the Mountain

Been there. It's beautiful nature which is great. There is a Buddhist temple complex but it's heavily restored but in original state (and size...). The interior of the mountain, even if controversial, must be included. It contains thousands of gifts from leaders around the world to the Kim dynasty. I know.... it's controversial, but I think it still deserves to be part. There is ivory art (double controversial) with pieces measuring so big you cannot imagine.

My Myohang photos:
Copyright by CTB Global / ChrisTravelBlog those who want to use get in touch with me by email

BTW: I have interior photos of 5 Tombs that are inscribed; but not yet online. Those who are interested get in touch as well.
Do note that it had cost me 200 EURO .... PER TOMB to make those photos and given lots of time ALONE inside.

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