President Moon Jae-in cites BTS, BLACKPINK for promoting Korea’s image abroad

(Top) South Korean President Moon Jae-in with BTS at the 1st Youth Day celebration on Sept. 19, 2020 and BLACKPINK (Cheong Wa Dae, Instagram)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has cited K-pop groups BTS and BLACKPINK, and the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” for promoting the image of South Korea abroad. 

In his New Year’s address on Jan. 11, President Moon laid out plans for South Korea including economy, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine and accelerating free trade agreement with the Philippines. 

In addition, he said, “we will leap forward to become a pace-setting nation in soft power as well.” 

Moon added that “democracy has helped nurture our culture and arts. Together with democracy, the creativity and unrestrained imagination of our culture and arts have become more diverse and competitive.” 

He said BTS, BLACKPINK and the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” have brought happiness to people around the world. 

“K-content like the film ‘Parasite’ and works of BTS and BLACKPINK have fascinated people around the world and brought joy. The government will assist creative activities for arts so that culture and arts professionals can fully demonstrate their creativity and talent. We will also more firmly solidify Korea’s status as a cultural powerhouse, for instance, by promoting the digitalization of Hallyu-related content,” he explained. 

Moon also cited Korean athletes and coaches who have helped in promoting South Korea. 

“Our tremendously talented athletes and coaches are themselves K-content promoting the Republic of Korea. Last year, Son Heung-min, Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Kwang-hyun, Ko Jin-young and many other athletes delivered hope and courage to our people and those around the world,” he said. 

Soft power, according to The Soft Power 30 website, is “the use of positive attraction and persuasion to achieve foreign policy objectives.” 

In the 2019 Soft Power 30 ranking by strategic communications firm Portland and the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, South Korea ranked 19th with a score of 63 and placed second in The Asia Soft Power 10.