Korea will diversify its cultural output and foster related industries such as consumer goods and service sectors in order to create a sustainable environment for the global spread of Korean soft power, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Thursday.
The Korean wave, or Hallyu, has expanded rapidly with the growth of the Korean content industry, playing a key role in promoting cultural products overseas and developing the country’s image as dynamic and futuristic. However, the fact that Hallyu content is concentrated on K-pop and TV dramas, and that anti-Korean sentiment exists in some regions were chosen as factors that hinder the continued spread of Hallyu. As a result, the culture ministry held a meeting in February of a pan-government Hallyu cooperation committee, which includes representatives from 13 ministries, and established the Hallyu Support and Cooperation Division within the ministry in June.
“Hallyu content gave us confidence that we can become one of the leading countries with the most cultural influence,” Culture Minister Park Yang-woo said during a press briefing held in Seoul, Thursday. “However, Hallyu is now standing at a crossroads, and it is time for the government to implement supportive measures that do not interfere with the interests of the private sector.” The ministry declared a “new Hallyu era,” which is aimed at promoting Korean culture through Hallyu-related goods and businesses, following the Hallyu 1.0, Hallyu 2.0 and Hallyu 3.0 eras, which represent times when K-pop, TV dramas and traditional culture were considered the main driving forces of the growth. To diversify Hallyu, the government said it will boost the esports industry.
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It will host a three-nation esports national tournament between Korea, Japan, and China in November. The culture ministry said it will support Hallyu-related industries such as beauty, food, and fashion. It plans to create experience zones where people can try K-beauty products in Gangnam and Myeong-dong, which are popular shopping districts among foreign tourists. Furthermore, it plans to continue holding K-Culture Festivals and connect Hallyu with service-based businesses like tourism, healthcare, and education.
The ministry added that the newly established Hallyu Support and Cooperation Division will act as a control tower to oversee diverse Hallyu-related projects that had previously been undertaken by different divisions and ministries. For instance, it will work together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to resolve the situation with China, which imposed sanctions on Korean pop culture in 2016 after Seoul deployed a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system.
Source: The Korea Times