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The ancient city of Kaesong located in what is now the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been granted World Heritage status as the United Nations continues its review of dozens of natural and cultural wonders around the world.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee approved the bid at its ongoing meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, noting the site embodied “the political, cultural, philosophical and spiritual values of a crucial era in the region’s history.”

Kaesong City North Korea

Kaesong City North Korea

Kaesong city consists of 12 separate components ranging from palaces to an astronomical and meteorological observatory and defensive walls that integrate Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and geomantic concepts.Taken together, these testify to the history and culture of the Koryo Dynasty, which ruled from 918 to 1392 and unified the various states which had inhabited the Peninsula, the Committee said.

The ancient city is the country’s second World Heritage site after the Complex of Koguryo Tombs in Pyongyang, listed in 2004.