Traditional Korean wrestling “ssireum” is highly likely to be added to the coveted UN list of world intangible cultural heritage.

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced on Monday that the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage decided to recommend that ssireum be included on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 

The UNESCO committee also reached the same decision for a request that North Korea separately submitted for ssireum. 

If the two Koreas agree to the joint listing of the sport, ssireum could become the first joint Korean asset on the list. 

A final decision on whether the sport will make the list will come during the 13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage set to open in Mauritius on November 26th. 

Currently, South Korea has 19 cultural assets on the UNESCO list, including the royal ancestral rituals and music of the Jongmyo Shrine, the traditional form of musical storytelling known as "pansori” and farmers’ traditional music “nong-ak.”

[Photo : YONHAP News]