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Cablegate: Usunesco: Korean Dmz: No Mechanism Exists To

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS PARIS 008247

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS
STATE ALSO FOR NATIONAL PARK SERVICE - S MORRIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV SCUL MARR CJAN CH KS UNESCO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: KOREAN DMZ: NO MECHANISM EXISTS TO
APPLY FOR WORLD HERITAGE STATUS


1. The 17 November public suggestion of Ted Turner of
the United Foundations Foundation at a New York City
event to designate the Korean DMZ as a World Heritage
Site was unworkable, South Korean UNESCO rep Ki-Joung
Cho told poloff in a 1 Dec office call, even though a
great majority of South Koreans probably favor the
designation of the DMZ as a World Heritage site. A
joint submission of the North and South Korean
Governments to the World Heritage Committee would be
required, he noted. This was just not possible, as
South Korea has no relations with the North Korean
government, Cho concluded. He added that chief UNESCO
culture official Mounir Bouchenaki had gone over the
same ground earlier in the week with South Korean
Deputy Permanent Delegate Jong-il Kim. (Note. There
are many cross-boundary World Heritage Sites among the
812 World Heritage Sites, such as the Belovzhskaya
Puscha/Bialowieza Forest, on the border between Belarus
and Poland, in which all involved governments
cooperated in the application process. See
http://whc.unesco.org/en/home/ for more information
about the World Heritage Convention. End note.)

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2. Cho extolled the DMZ's natural beauty, noting that
he had performed his military service near the DMZ. He
speculated that perhaps a Korean-American lobbying
group had approached Ted Turner following the October
2005 election of the United States to the World
Heritage Committee. (Note. Both the USG and South
Korea serve on the 21-nation World Heritage Committee,
which decides policy questions arising under the 1972
World Heritage Convention, including the designation of
additional sites. End note.) He also wondered if the
continuing military activities around the DMZ would be
consistent with World Heritage site status.

3. Ambassador Oliver subsequently discussed the same
topic with Francesco Bandarin, the Director of the
World Heritage Center at UNESCO. Bandarin said that
the idea had been discussed for several years and had
originally been proposed by a group of Americans. He
also said that when he met with Ted Turner recently in
New York, Turner was quite enthusiastic about the idea.
But, like the Korean delegate, Bandarin was pessimistic
about this coming to pass because of a lack of
cooperation from the DPRK. He said that cooperation is
so bad that the DPRK's one World Heritage site - the
tombs of the Koguryo kingdom -- that straddles the DPRK-
Chinese border is actually two separate sites rather
than a cross-boundary site.

Oliver

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