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K-pop, K-movies contribute to Korea’s positive image abroad

K-pop, K-movies contribute to Korea’s positive image abroad

Nearly 8 out of 10 foreigners have a positive image of South Korea brought about mainly by hallyu or Korean Wave elements such as K-pop, Korean movies and literature.

The Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), a government agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), conducted a survey from July to August last year among 10,000 respondents in 20 countries to know the global perception of South Korea.

The main survey results covered 8,000 respondents in 16 countries: US, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, France, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, India, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and China. This year, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines were added in the countries that were surveyed.

According to the main survey, 76.7 percent of people surveyed in the 15 countries have a positive image of South Korea while 64.8 percent of Koreans have a positive image of their own country.

(Clockwise from top left) Korean President Moon Jae-in, BTS, Lee Min Ho, Song Hye-kyo and Psy. (Twitter/Instagram)

Russia had the highest positive image of South Korea with 94.8 percent followed by India, 91.8 percent; Brazil, 91.6 percent; Thailand, 91.4 percent; Indonesia, 88.4 percent; United Arab Emirates, 87.4 percent; Mexico, 86.6 percent; South Africa, 80.4 percent; France, 79.8 percent; Australia, 72.2 percent; US, 69.2 percent; United Kingdom, 69 percent; Germany, 67.6 percent; China, 61.6 percent; and Japan, 18.8 percent.

Among the seven countries included in Korea’s New Southern Policy, the Philippines has the highest positive perception of South Korea with 97.4 percent followed by Vietnam, 92.8 percent; India, 91.8 percent; Thailand, 91.4 percent; Indonesia, 88.4 percent; Singapore, 86.8 percent; and Malaysia, 81.6 percent.

Ranking all the 20 countries surveyed would show that the Philippines is the No. 1 country with the highest positive image of South Korea followed by Russia, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Thailand.

The survey also showed Korea’s positive image was greatly influenced by pop culture–K-pop, Korean films and literature–at 38.2 percent followed by economic growth, 14.6 percent; cultural heritage, 14 percent; and Korean products and brands, 11.6 percent.

When asked what was the first things that came to their minds when they thought of South Korea, the respondents picked K-pop and K-pop singers as the top choice with 12.5 percent followed by Korean food, 8.5 percent; culture, 6.5 percent; technology, 4.8 percent; and company brands, 4.5 percent.

In addition, 37.8 percent of the respondents said Korean pop culture is the most common way to learn about South Korea followed by economy, 16.8 percent; security, 13.9 percent; cultural heritage, 10.5 percent; and sports, 8.3 percent.

Among Korean public figures, the respondents chose President Moon Jae-in as No. 1 with 7.9 percent followed by K-pop superstars BTS, 5.5 percent; actor Lee Min Ho, 4.3 percent; actress Song Hye-kyo, 4.1 percent; and Psy, 3.6 percent.

Tags: BTS, KOCIS, Korean Culture and Information Service, Lee Min Ho, MCST, Ministry of Culture, President Moon Jae-in, Psy, Song Hye Kyo, South Korea, South Korea image, Sports and Tourism