• South Korea 2022

    K-pop very important to the Korean economy and now (BTS visit to the UN) Korean politics.

    Is it sustainable long-term? "It doesn't matter. That's sort of what the whole ecosystem was built for. The reputation of the cars feeds into the reputation of the phones, and the reputation of the makeup and the movies and the films. If one falters, the others can pick up the pace. ... Korea's very innovative. They're always ready ... to start new things. They're very long-term thinking ... If you're just doing 4-year terms it doesn't work." - Euny Hong

    Next, AI, holograms, entertainment.

    ABBA was once second-earner to Volvo, maybe, for Sweden.


    There's a Korean version of just about everything. Browser, food, fashion.

    Most K-pop groups have foreign members now. It's not the exception, closer to the rule. ... Squid Game cast wasn't all Korean. Diversity. What's Korean (culture-wide) is now being redefined and maybe expanded. The population is aging and maybe shrinking, thinking about immigrants, embracing them as Korean. They have to reach out and collab more, it's not just out of charity but out of necesity, good business. ... This will make it not just sustainable but thrive. Things made not just for Koreans but for export as well. Exporting both culture (entertainment) but also technology.

    How to translate that into things Korea really cares about? like the immediate neighborhood and preserving security. Korea is the smallest country there amongs larger major powers. “Having the power of attraction is like having a great playmaker on your team but you still need a close-er” - Scott Snyder.

    What does Korea stand for? It's a very successful country, but one of the most stressed OECD society. As they grow quickly they experience stresses.

    Their soft power is causing backlash in China. To be sure, though, N Koreans are watching their drama.

    Korean language courses at colleges are full, and half of the students are non-heritage, and all of it has to do with Korean pop culture. How to turn that into lifelong supporters and friends of Korea, much like Japan has done with the past generation.

    'Korea is having difficulties deciding between the US and China, but on values Korea shouldn't have difficulty making a choice. It's very hard for Korea to talk about values anywhere that China has interest, for example Hong Kong. That's problematic if we're talking about soft power. You can't be a values producer and values projector on a conditional basis.'

  • S Korea, 2022

    BTS brings $3.6b annually into S Korea

    7% of visitors there were motivated by the band

    K-drama and other series, films. Food.

    160k foreign students in S Korea versus less than 20k in 2003.

    What is the effect of their success/popularity on N Korea?

    How should S Korea leverage its soft power to get its goals? How can it enhance their national security, economy?

  • Americans 77% have a favorable impression of South Koreans now (versus 31% in 2003). BTS and Squid Game.

    Traditional ally UK, 57%. Americans have a higher impression of South Korea than of Australia and France, also.

    China consistently has soured relationships when a country speaks out (often about Taiwan), and for China this is a no-go and China penalizes (economic action) them some way or other).

    NBA tweet led to a ban.

    The way China is run curbs any action to gain soft power, commented Aini. Everything that China has to show (which would be good for its image) has to go through a censorship and propaganda filter, filtering anything that could be seen as detrimental to the State. What comes out doesn't strike a chord. "China itself is actually stifling a lot of the soft power that it could have." Despite headlines saying China has a $10b soft power budget.

    Some things that China is exporting are a makeup thing, Douyin, and a game, Genshin Impact.

    If China drops it's filter, though, it will become more influenced (and communicate more?) with the West, which could lead to more instability.

    People note that nowadays, anytime anyone even talks about or mentions something that is 'Chinese culture' in a positive sense, other people 'backlash' and start making comments that are negative about something China does that aren't really relevant to the original topic.

    Another thing is that a lot of Douyin makeup is just reposted as 'Korean makeup' despite its Chinese creators, which is a label that might get more interest or views.

    Chinese can't access the world to show their culture because they're blocked, unlike Japan and Korea.