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‘One-stop service is best for overseas cultural promotion’

Korea will continue to aim for one unified culture-related agency per overseas city to more effectively promote its culture to the world, the director of Korean Culture and Information Service said Tuesday.

“We are very much aware of the importance of the issue and have been pushing to set up more integrated offices so that visitors can get all the information they need about Korean culture by making just one stop,” Seo Kang-soo, chief of KOCIS, said during a casual press meeting.

The Korean government has been pushing to integrate overseas branches of KOCIS, Korea Tourism Organization, Korea Creative Content Agency and others to create a “Korea Center” for visitors’ convenience.

The Korea Centers, which contain the roles of several different government agencies at one location, are currently found in Los Angeles, Beijing, Tokyo and Osaka with the New York center slated to open sometime early next year. “We are also looking into whether we can get private organizations, such as entertainment agencies, to join the group,” said Seo.

Seo also took note of the growing demand for Korean culture products overseas.

More than 1,200 people have signed up to take Korean language lessons offered by the KOCIS branch in Russia, while 800 people signed up in Kazakhstan, he said.

KOCIS currently has 24 overseas branches that offer information on Korean culture and travel, as well as Korean language learning programs.

“We also have plans to fill the chief roles in overseas offices with open-minded people who also have a sense of business and new trends,” Seo said. “Ways of promoting culture have become very diverse in the past few years.” 

By Shin Hae-in (
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Korea Herald daum