SOC Project Plans and Cultural Resource Management in the North Korean Region : Suggestions for Systematic Investigation and Management of North Korean Cultural Heritage

북한지역 SOC사업 구상과 문화유산 - 북한 문화유산의 효율적인 조사·관리를 위한 제언 -

Kim, Beom-Cheol

  • Received : 2018.12.25
  • Accepted : 2019.02.07
  • Published : 2019.06.30


Despite continuous volatility in ideological leanings, South Korean governments, conservative or progressive, have published a series of plans for aiding the economic development of North Korea. The Moon administration's plan is the paragon of such efforts. In addition, recent detente between the North Korean regime and the US government evokes much hope in its success. There is, hidden behind the veil of hope, apprehension about the crisis of management of cultural heritage in the North Korean region. It is believed that development policies may overwhelm efforts at conservation of cultural heritage, in particular that the hurrying of development projects would provoke insufficient and inappropriate investigation of archaeological sites., If these problems arise, responsibility for their resolution would be carried by South Korean archaeologists and governmental institutes. This paper reviews what the South Korean government has suggested for North Korea's economic recovery and examines what capability the South Korean archaeology sector has for investigating North Korean cultural heritage. It then discusses the scale of investigation needed, and what should beused as precedent in planning substantial excavations when development projects are performed in the North Korean region. Constructing a digital map system for cultural heritage of North Korea is suggested as one of the most urgent tasks precedent to substantial excavations. It is of great importance because we do not currently have any substantial information about the locations and current condition of cultural heritage sites and artifacts in the North Korean region. The mapping of Bronze Age sites in North Korea, conducted as a sort of pilot test, revealed that archaeological sites are densely distributed in several regions, especially Hwanghae-do and Pyoyang Directly-Administrated City, and that there is high potential of discovering new sites.


Cultural Heritage of North Korea;North Korean Region;SOC Project Plan;Cultural Resource Management;Digital Map System