September 23, 2023

Sixteen years and 307,000 words later, the two Koreas draft a joint dictionary

After 25 meetings and years of political turmoil, South Korea plans to soon submit its draft for North Korean approval

South Korean scholar Lim Boseon remembers sitting down with North Korean counterparts in Pyongyang and debating which words would make it into an inter-Korean dictionary — a testament to both Koreas’ shared culture and language despite an ongoing, 70-year-long war.

“There were some things neither side will ever give way,” Lim said. “With 20,000 words, it wasn’t an easy job.”