A print advert for South Korean kimchi during the World Cup has triggered a fresh round of bickering with China about cultural heritage. The advert for Korea's traditional spicy pickled cabbage employed Sichuan pots. The pot is part of China's heritage and was copied by Koreans, Tu Jianhua, an inspector in the province's Agriculture Department was quoted as saying on June 8 by Sichuan Online, the provincial government's website. Alongside the report, the website published a picture of glamorous South Korean women soccer players posing with packets of a South Korean brand of kimchi beside a couple of small pots and a central big pot in the shape of a soccer ball on a soccer field. 'The most distinguishing feature of Sichuan pickled cabbage is the pot in which it is made,' Tu said. 'We should give it some thought when South Korea has made an issue of it.' The 'weak branding and marketing' of Sichuan pickled cabbage had left an opportunity that could be exploited to South Korea's advantage, he said. There have been mainland reports that South Korea has been planning to register traditional Chinese herbs as an intangible cultural heritage and that some historical figures, including Cao Cao, a warlord in the Three Kingdoms period; Li Bai , a Tang dynasty poet; and revolutionary leader Dr Sun Yat-sen were of South Korean extraction. The report about the pot has sparked widespread comment by internet users, mostly lashing out at South Korea for 'again stealing' Chinese culture. A report on Sichuan Online yesterday quoted South Korea's vice-consul in Chengdu defending his country, saying it had a long tradition of using various types of pots to make kimchi and that the pickling techniques were nearly 2,000 years old. There are about 336 types of kimchi, according to a South Korean survey done in 1995. 'The claim in the earlier report was quite sensitive and could create anti-South Korean sentiment,' vice-consul Hong Sung-jun said. 'We were concerned that this would cause a bad impression of us and get out of control. 'The official who made the claim is actually not very knowledgeable about spicy picked dishes. No matter where the pots originated, the current pots used in South Korea have their own characteristics. You cannot say we stole it.' Arguments between the two countries over intangible cultural heritage are usually widely publicised in the mainland media. Some internet users called South Koreans the best at copying other people. Others argued Chinese should try harder to preserve their own traditional culture instead of blaming South Korea. The South Korean embassy in Beijing released a statement saying most recent claims of Chinese historical figures having South Korea roots were groundless and the rest mispresented one person's opinion as that of all South Koreans.