Remarkable successes have been made in the discovery and restoration of historical relics and sites that are treasures of the Korean nation.
A research team of the department of history of Kim Il Sung University and the Archaeology Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences unearthed a site dating back to the earlier Palaeolithic age in Tongam-dong in Sunchon, South Phyongan Province, and scientifically proved once again that Korea is one of the cradles of human civilization.
They found four metal types, a pride of the resourceful and civilized Korean nation, at Manwoltae, the site of the royal palace of Koryo in Kaesong, and shadow-casting rocks from the primitive times and two dolmens, a dwelling site, and over 1,000 relics from the ancient times in Ungsang-dong of the Sonbong area in Rason City and a large group of tombs dating back to Koguryo Kingdom in Chondok-ri of Pongsan County, North Hwanghae Province, to enrich the treasure house of human culture.
The Family Tree of the Ris of Toksu was recently put on display at a museum, the tomb of Hyejong, the second king of Koryo, was discovered in Kaesong in October and many other historical sites and relics were unearthed and restored. Three objects were inscribed as world intangible cultural heritage elements and over 90 as national and local ICH elements, while more than 10 objects were designated as natural monuments.
Besides, 40 objects including the tomb of the 15th king of Koryo in Sonjok-ri, Kaesong, the site of the Kwangbok Temple in Sadong-ri of Phangyo County, Kangwon Province, and the tomb with murals in Jangsuwon-dong of Samsok District, Pyongyang, were registered as national treasures and relics.
The Mannyon Temple in Kusong, Woljong Temple in Anak County and Anbul Temple in Kumya County were restored to their original state, eight buildings of the Sogwang Temple in Kosan County were rebuilt in accordance with the characteristics of the corresponding period and the three-storey Suhang Pavilion in Onsong County was repaired to regain its former looks.
As brisk activities were conducted to unearth, collect, evaluate and register tangible, intangible and natural heritage elements, folk song Arirang, kimchi-making custom and ssirum (Korean wrestling) were inscribed as world ICH elements.
More than 80 objects related to social practices, working life, traditional medicine and cuisine and life customs such as the Korean roofing style, silk production technique, janggi (Korean chess), sledging, beekeeping, cupping therapy and loach soup were inscribed as national ICH elements, while the recipe for Pyongyang onban (meat soup with rice in it) which is one of the four famous dishes of Pyongyang, Song of Jongbangsan Fort with distinct musical characteristics of the folk songs widely sung in the northwestern provinces of Korea and the age-old stone sauna and Samdaem sand bath in Kaesong have won local ICH status.
Goshawk which is the national bird of the DPRK, Kwangpho duck, the Ryongaksan and Kumgang spring waters, Kumya poplar and Anhak-dong semi-cultivation soybean were designated as natural monuments and many other achievements were made in the efforts to preserve and take care of natural heritage elements.