On March 16, Korean media reported the Korea Ministry of Land and Marine said that after having heard the views of experts and relevant associations, the Ondol will apply for world cultural heritage status.
The Ministry said according to a survey, experts concluded that the Ondol deservers protection and proper inheritance, which originally inspired to the application process.
If an investigation by the experts proves the application to be feasible, the Korea Department of Land and Sea will make budget plans during the second half of this year, and its list status will be officially launched next year at the earliest, Ondol heating technology is the only traditional technology in that is still used for home construction, And Korea geothermal heating technology actually originated from this ancient style.
Geothermal heating systems are different from air conditioning or electric heaters. When people lie on a warm floor that uses the Ondol heating system, they feel like they are in a sauna and body tension is relieved.
A spokesperson from the Korea Ministry said, “The traditional Ondol makes use of environment-friendly wood or charcoal rather than oil, coal and other fuels.” However, tt was also reported that China believes geothermal heating is part of its own innovation, and Korea is accelerating its own process before China.
Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper, 16th Special, stressed that Korea intends to list its version of Ondol technology as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, but the biggest obstacle is China. The Korean government has started related academic research, as China also claims this technology as its own invention.
The Korea Economic Daily also reported that the listing might be claimed by China as it is also applying for world cultural heritage status . In fact, the so-called Ondol is similar to the heated brick bed found throughout the Northern China countryside.
The Korea Land and Marine Department will work with the Korea Consultation Office of Cultural Properties where it first registered the Ondol system as an intangible cultural heritage before trying to list it as a World Culture Heritage. A related officer from the Korea Ministry of Land and Marine said if the Ondol technology will be listed as a world cultural heritage, the origin of geothermal heating will be widely recognized and will help expand exports and the future development of relevant industries.