The Korea Herald


Foreigners pick 'entertainment' as top positive image for S. Korea

By 윤민식

Published : Dec. 18, 2012 - 18:03

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Entertainment such as K-Pop and dramas topped the list of positive sources about South Korea's national image among foreigners residing here, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry gleaned the results from essays submitted by 455 foreigners from 59 countries for a contest hosted for two months from September on the subjects of South Korea's image and distinguishing features.

The largest share representing 49.2 percent of entries described entertainment including K-Pop, soap operas and sports as the top positive factor about South Korea, followed by the country's economic development with 36.3 percent, information technology with 30 percent, and friendly people with 26.2 percent, the ministry said.

Foreign residents also mentioned traditional culture and history (25.1 percent), food (22.1 percent), and sightseeing (16.7 percent) as national strengths in their essays, according to the ministry.

North Korea topped the list of factors that adversely affect the national image in the view of foreigners here with 10.8 percent, followed by the language barrier with 10.6 percent, plastic surgery with 8.4 percent, and the high rate of suicide with 7.7 percent, according to the ministry.

"Based upon the analysis, we will explore desirable ways to establish desirable national images as part of efforts to promote public diplomacy," the ministry said in a statement.

Of the entries, the ministry said it has chosen Bridget Ke from the Philippines as the winner of the grand prize of a tablet PC and notebook. Four others were awarded the gold prize and 10 received the silver prize, the ministry said, adding the awards ceremony will be held within this month. (Yonhap News)