Search

 

Cablegate: Making the Korean Dmz a World Heritage Site

VZCZCXYZ5727
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #0403 0651633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051633Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2172
INFO RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1462
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1636
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2642
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 6055
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6619
RUEHLE/AMEMBASSY LUXEMBOURG 0389
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1486

UNCLAS PARIS 000403

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNESCO SCUL TBIO KS KN
SUBJECT: MAKING THE KOREAN DMZ A WORLD HERITAGE SITE


1. The Belgian Embassy assembled United States, Canadian,
Australian, Luxembourg, and South Korean diplomats March 3 to listen
to a proposal by Baron Simon-Pierre Nothomb, head of Belgium's
association of Korean War Veterans. Nothomb suggested that a fitting
memorial to the Korean War dead would be to make the current DMZ a
World Heritage site. Untouched by the hand of man for almost sixty
years, the DMZ has become a unique natural wilderness.

2. A representative of UNESCO's World Heritage Center reported that
he had visited the DMZ in 2004 and could testify to the uniqueness
of the site. In his view it could easily qualify as a World Heritage
site both because of its historic significance and because of the
importance as a nearly pristine biosphere.

3. The World Heritage official reported that UNESCO had attempted to
open a dialogue with the two Koreas in 2004 and 2005 on preservation
of the DMZ. The North Korean delegation at the time had reported
that this was a matter for the North Korean defense ministry and
said it would have to refer the matter to Pyongyang. Nothing more
was heard of the matter. The South Korean Deputy Permanent
Representative commented that the Democratic People's Republic of
Korean UNESCO delegation is staffed by officials of the culture
ministry. They are probably not even allowed to talk to the defense
ministry, he suggested.

4. Discussion then focused on how to advance the matter, with Baron
Nothomb noting that war veterans are aging rapidly and need action
soon if it is to happen in their lifetime. He wondered whether it
would be possible to approach China to have it press North Korea.
There must be Chinese veterans groups, he suggested. The Belgian
ambassador reported that he had discussed the matter with the
Chinese ambassador to UNESCO and had been surprised when she denied
that there were any such groups in China. The Canadian ambassador
warned Baron Nothomb against using the verb "pressure." The North
Koreans don't like to be pressured, and they would surely oppose the
initiative reflexively if they felt they were being squeezed to
support it. The Canadian suggested that the real task is to make the
North Koreans think that this is partly their idea. The South Korean
undertook to report the approach but warned that the North Koreans
can be difficult to deal with and still try to undermine the
legitimacy of South Korea. The U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative
stressed that this is a matter for the two Koreas to decide.

5. Comment: Under UNESCO rules, North and South Korea would have to
request jointly that the site be inscribed on the World Heritage
list. While we are not experts on the Korean situation, we would
expect this to be a high hurdle. No third party could act if the two
Koreas are not interested in the idea. We report this exchange
because we left the meeting under the impression that Baron Nothomb
intended to continue to promote his idea and to try to reach out and
enlist the support of veterans' groups elsewhere.

ENGELKEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC