Koreas bid for UNESCO recognition of traditional wrestling

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North and South Korea are making a first joint bid for an international recognition of Korean traditional wrestling.

South Korean culture officials on Monday said a UNESCO committee is set to determine whether to add the Korean wrestling to its list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” this week.

The Koreas had earlier pushed separate bids for the sport’s UNESCO recognition, but the cooperation follows an easing of tension on the divided peninsula amid a flurry of exchanges this year.

The Koreas were originally a single country before their 1945 separation. They now use different English Romanization rules. The wrestling’s English spelling is “ssirum” in North Korea and “ssireum” in South Korea.

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