More than 80 percent of foreigners said they have a positive national image of South Korea while only 54 percent of Koreans said so. The Korean Culture and Information Service under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism on Tuesday released the result of its online survey of 8,000 people from 16 countries. Over 90 percent of people from Thailand, Indonesia, India, Mexico, and Russia said they have a positive impression of South Korea while only 20 percent of people from Japan said the same. The figure stood at 73 percent among Americans and 66 percent among Chinese.
When asked which element best represents Korea, 40 percent of the respondents cited Korean cuisine or “hansik” followed by K-pop (22.8 percent), Korean culture (19.1 percent), and K-beauty (14.2 percent). As for the factors that contribute to the positive image of South Korea, 35.3 percent chose contemporary culture such as K-pop and movies followed by economy at 17.5 percent, cultural heritage at 12.3 percent, and Korean products and brands at 12 percent.
On the other hand, North Korean nuclear issue topped the list of elements that have a negative impact on South Korea at 23.3 percent followed by political situation at 19.6 percent, and international standing at 13 percent. When asked what South Korea should prioritize to boost its national image, 40.8 percent cited peaceful resolution of inter-Korean issues.
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