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Traditional culture is root of hallyu: Chief of branding council

Universal values are deeply embedded in South Korea’s history and traditional culture, said Lee Bae-yong, Chairperson of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

Asserting that Korea must strive to become a country that contributes to the international community and one that is trusted and loved by the citizens of the world, Lee pointed out on Sunday five key strategic tasks for Korea to acquire global recognition as a reliable and dignified country.

The media briefing was held as part of the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit at COEX, Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.

The tasks include expanding contributions to the international community, with the overseas volunteer group “World Friends Korea” launched in 2009 being a good example; cultivating global citizenships; embracing multiculturalism and treating foreigners with consideration; promoting Korea’s advanced technology and products; and actively promoting Korea’s culture to the world.

In particular, Lee emphasized the final task on blending Korea’s traditional culture with the modern one.

“With K-pop gaining popularity in many parts of the world and the Korean Wave touching the hearts of people from all corners of the world, I am once again sensing that the audience for Korea’s cultural brand is expanding at an impressive speed,” said Lee.

“The values presently sought by mankind ― peace and life, nature and environment, the spirit of caring and communication, can be found in the products of Korea’s traditional culture such as the Korean writing system, traditional Korean houses and Korean food, all of which reveal exquisite colors, art and unity.”

Lee introduced relics such as the Baekje period gilt bronze incense burner, smiling Buddha statue made in the 7th century, and the 12th century Tripitaka Koreana as examples of the roots of the nation’s popular culture such as K-pop.

“Traditional Korean culture also shines bright with science that embodies the wisdom and the creativity of humanity. Captivating design that transcends time with harmony between nature and mankind, and the spirit of innovation based on traditions are gently folded in this perfect package as well,” she said.

By Park Min-young  (