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(2nd LD) Park: 'Descendants of the Sun' exemplary case of cultural enhancement

All News 18:32 April 11, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with comments by Park)

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Monday praised "Descendants of the Sun," a popular South Korean soap opera, as an exemplary case of the positive effects of cultural content on the manufacturing industry.

The drama -- which tells the story of a South Korean army captain sent on a U.N. peacekeeping mission to a distant fictional country -- has gained immense popularity not only in South Korea but China and other countries as well.

Park said the KBS drama has been sold to about 30 countries and has been exerting positive influences there on South Korea's exports of such products as cosmetics, fashion and food.

"It is an exemplary case of the creative economy and cultural enhancement that shows the effects of the shared growth of the content industry and manufacturing sector,” Park said at a center for Korean food in central Seoul.

The chief executive made the comments after touring the center with Song Joong-ki, the lead male character of "Descendants of the Sun."

Park called Song a “young patriot” for serving as an honorary ambassador for South Korea’s tourism at a time when the government is pushing to promote tourism and culture.

Park also said K-pop and Korean soap operas could become important catalysts for the sale of South Korean products in foreign countries.

The president has designated cultural enhancement as one of the top priorities of her administration.

She then called on officials to carefully review measures to address difficulties in nurturing the content industry, saying it is one of the key industries in the country's creative economy growth plan.

Park has pushed for her signature creative economy, a policy that calls for turning creative ideas into real businesses with the help of cutting-edge science, expertise and information technology.

Park also called for the establishment of an academy for Korean cuisine, known as "hansik," as part of efforts to nurture food as a competitive cultural content.

She made the comments in a separate meeting with officials and experts on how to go international with Korean food.

Korean food has gained popularity in some foreign countries in recent years for being healthy.


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