Gov’t to open new department to promote all of Korean culture

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon explains the ministry’s new department specializing in international cultural affairs and public relations in a press briefing on Thursday at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) Seoul branch in southern Seoul. (MINISTRY OF CULTURE, SPORTS AND TOURISM)

The government will up the ante on overseas K-culture promotion with a new department that will widen the current focus on pop culture, especially K-pop and dramas, to all things K-culture, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon said Thursday.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Thursday that it founded a new department specializing in international cultural affairs and public relations by incorporating the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (Kofice) into the ministry.

The new bureau will oversee and align all overseas promotions and support programs held by state-run cultural institutions, such as Arts Council Korea (Arko) and the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS), by tapping into the government’s resources around the world, including culture centers and Sejong Language Institutes in different countries.

The new department will also expand its cooperation with other government ministries, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to create a synergy between other government-led events and culture. The Culture Ministry will organize “Korean Season” festivals in 10 countries that will spotlight all aspects of Korean culture and expand the number of content business centers from the current 25 to 50 by the end of 2027.

The budget for the new projects will be finalized by the Finance Ministry around August and September. Minister Yu expressed “a positive outlook,” as the Culture Ministry’s goals align with those of the Finance Ministry and the overall sentiment of the government.

“We have consolidated the different overseas projects into our new international affairs department, which will be in charge of establishing necessary networks in other countries for our government support programs to properly take place through different institutions,” Yu said.

“There’s only so much that a private entity can achieve in a foreign country, such as getting a performance venue or marketing in a local region. Even a culture center or an embassy (has limitations). By having a government command center, it will greatly help establish this system within the next two to three years.”

BY YOON SO-YEON (yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr)



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