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Submitted by Julia Cassandra C.


The Korean Wave, which literally means "flow of Korea"a is a neologism referring to
the increase in the popularity of South Korean culture since the late 1990s.First driven by the
spread of K-dramas televised across East, South and Southeast Asia during its initial stages,
the Korean Wave evolved from a regional development into a global phenomenon due to the
proliferation of Korean pop (K-pop) music videos on YouTube. (Yoon, 2010) Currently, the
spread of the Korean Wave to other regions of the world is most visibly seen among teenagers
and young adults in Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America, Western Asia, North
Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Europe (Lee, 2012) (The Warsaw Voice, 2011) (Russell, 2012)
and immigrant enclaves of the Western world. (Ibid, 2012) (Viney, 2011) (Brown, 2012)
(Seabrook 2012) (Chen, 2013) (Salima 2013)

At the turn of the 21st century, South Korea is emerging as a major exporter of popular
culture, rivaling many Western nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom.(BBC,
2011) The Economist has dubbed Korean pop culture as "Asias foremost trendsetter". (The
Economist, 2014) The growing acceptance and popularity of South Korean pop culture as a valid

form of entertainment in many parts of the world has prompted the government of South
Korea to use the Korean Wave as a tool for soft power as well as facilitating its entertainment
and creative sector to increase exports to enhance the country's burgeoning economy as well as
fulfilling the nations ambitious goal of becoming the world's leading pop culture exporter, a

niche that the United States has cornered for nearly a century. (Leong, 2014) The South Korean
government has also made a commitment by earmarking 1% of its national budget towards
spending in the form of subsidies and low-interest loans by fostering its cultural

industries through the launch of creative agencies to promote and expand K-pop exports to drive
creative and economic growth, and setting up more cultural departments at universities to nurture

a talented workforce needed to support its burgeoning entertainment and creative sector. (Leong,
As Korean pop culture becomes an increasingly globalized phenomenon, its surging
popularity in many parts of the world has prompted South Korea to utilize its cultural and
entertainment sector to access, tap and break into foreign entertainment markets to further
enhance its thriving creative and entertainment sector as well as using its burgeoning pop cultural

exports to further enhance the South Korean economy. Much of the success of the Korean Wave
owes in part to tapping into social networking services and the video sharing platform YouTube.
YouTube allows the leverage of the Korean entertainment industry's ability to secure a sizable
overseas audience, where it has facilitated a noticeable rise in the global proliferation of its
entertainment products on the video streaming site. With the Korean creative and entertainment
sector tapping into social networks to facilitate the promotion, distribution, consumption of
various forms of Korean entertainment, many forms of Korean entertainment, especially K-pop
in particular, have experienced surging worldwide popularity outside of Asia since the mid
2000s. (Yoon, 2014) (Leong, 2014) (Kwak, 2012)

Ultimately, the South Korean government hopes that the acceptance of South Korean
culture in foreign countries would be reciprocated by an embracement of foreign cultures among
South Koreans, thus realizing the ideals of a bidirectional flow of culture, goods and ideas in
order to achieve the following goals:

Prevention of anti-Korean sentiment (Cho, 2012)

Reunification of Korea (Kang, 2011)

Advancements in world peace and prosperity (Bae, 2013)

Bae, Ji-sook. February 12, 2012. Hallyu could be stepping stone for peace. The Korea
Herald. Accessed September 19, 2015.
BBC. November 8, 2011. South Korea pushes its pop culture abroad. Accessed September 19,
Brown, August. April 29, 2012. K-pop enters American pop consciousness. Los Angeles Times
Accessed September 19, 2015.
Chen, Peter. February 9, 2013. Gangnam Style: How One Teen Immigrant Fell For K-Pop
Music. Huffington Post. Accessed September 19, 2015.
Cho, Chung-un. April 17, 2012. Korea to turn hallyu into industry. The Korea Herald.
Accessed September 19, 2015.
Kang, Seongbin. April 29, 2011. Korean Wave set to swamp North Korea, academics say.
Reuters. Accessed September 19, 2015.
Kwak, Donnie. November 3, 2012. PSYs Gangnam Style: The Billboard Cover Story.

Billboard. Accessed September 19, 2015.

Lee, Seung-ah. October 15, 2012. K-pop magazine published in Russia. Accesssed
September 19, 2015.
Leong, Melissa. August 2, 2014. How Korea became the worlds coolest brand. Retail and
Marketing. Accessed September 19, 2015.
Russell, Mark James. September 27, 2012. The Gangnam Phenom. Foreign Policy. Accessed
September 19, 2015.
Salima. February 27, 2013. Black is the new K-Pop: Interview with Black K-Pop Fans. The
One Shots. Accessed September 19, 2015.
Seabrook, John. October 8,2012. Factory Girls. The New Yorker. Accessed September 19,2015
The Economist. August 9, 2014. South Koreas Soft Power: Soap, Sparkle and Pop. Accessed
September 19, 2015.
Viney, Steven. July 19, 2011. Korean pop culture spreads in Cairo. Egypt Independent.
Accessed September 19, 2015. September 2, 2011. K-pop Comes to Poland. Accessed September 19, 2015.
Yoon, Lina. August 26, 2010. Korean Pop, with Online Help, Goes Global. TIME. Accessed

September 19, 2015.,8599,2013227,00.html