The government said Tuesday it plans to designate South Korean actor Lee Min-ho next week as a promotional ambassador to promote overseas institutes, established by South Korea, that offer foreigners Korean language courses and Korean culture activities.
The culture ministry and the Seoul-based King Sejong Institute Foundation are scheduled to hold a ceremony in Seoul next Tuesday to mark the designation of Lee, an icon of "hallyu," or the Korean wave, as an envoy for the state-run King Sejong Institute.
Named after the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) king who invented the Korean alphabet "hangeul," and launched in 2007, the institutes offer language education programs teaching Korean as a second language.
As of June this year, there were 180 such institutes in 60 countries, where about 60,000 students were learning the Korean language.
The actor, who finished his military service in April this year, gained widespread fame from starring in "Boys Over Flowers" in 2009 and continued to ride a huge wave of popularity through his following works "City Hunter" (2011) and "The Heirs" (2013). (Yonhap)