Korea has been elected to UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which evaluates requests from countries for the inclusion of such heritage on the world body's lists.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Heritage Administration on Sept. 10 said that at the eighth general assembly of UNESCO's convention on preserving intangible cultural heritage in Paris, 80 out of 146 member countries backed Korea's membership in the committee.
This is Korea's third stint as a member, with the nation having served from 2008-12 and again from 2014-18. A country cannot be elected for two consecutive terms and must take a two-year break between them.
Korea has 20 items on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage including the lyrical folk song "Arirang" (designated in 2012), kimjang (김장), or the making and sharing of kimchi (2013), and ssireum (씨름), or traditional wrestling (2018).
The country will submit this year the annual Lotus Lantern Festival for inclusion on the list, as well as Korean mask dancing in 2022 and the making of jang (장) (fermented paste) in 2024.
Seoul's permanent delegation to UNESCO said in a statement, "We hope to actively participate in discussions, decision-making and international cooperation related to the inscription of humanity's intangible cultural heritage on the lists and the protection of intangible cultural heritage."