Traditional cuisine as a part of the Soft Power strategy of South Korea

The concept of soft power and South Koreas soft power strategy. Categorization of various types of soft power in the system of international relations. Academic disputes over Nyes concept of soft power. Accomplishments of Hansik globalization program.

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Table of content


Chapter I. The concept of soft power and South Korea's soft power strategy

I.1 The origins of the concept of soft power

I.2 Categorization of various types of soft power in the system of international relations

I.3 Academic disputes over Nye's concept of soft power

I.4 South Korea's Soft Power strategy

I.5 Culture as a source of Korean soft power

I.6 Domestic policy as a source of Korean soft power

I.7 Foreign policy as a source of Korean soft power

Chapter II. Traditional cuisine as a part of the Soft Power strategy of South Korea

II.1 Food as a soft power tool

II.2 Structure and content of the Korean Food Globalization Program

II.3 Goals of the Korean Food Globalization Program

II.4 Accomplishments of the Hansik globalization program

II.5 Reasons for the failure of the Korean Food Globalization Program and suggestions for improvement




Since the concept of Soft power was developed by Joseph S. Nye in 1990, it has become very popular in academic circles and later began to be used everywhere. In simple terms, it means the ability of a country to get what it wants through its globally attractive image. South Korea is considered a country that has a strong hard power potential. Its geographical position neighboring such states as North Korea, China, Japan and Russia contribute to the development of a strong army and defense budget. In terms of the economy, South Korea is one of the most developed countries in the world and ranks 13th in the G20. However, in recent years the South Korean government set a goal to become an influential soft power state and to attract others through its culture and positive image. It would be fair to say that during recent years, Seoul has succeeded in its ambitious undertakings and expanded Korean influence to a certain extent. To achieve that, different sources of soft power, such as culture, successful foreign and domestic policy were used. Although the most spectacular progress was made in the sphere of pop-culture, in 2008 the Korean government decided to strike on a different element of Korea's cultural heritage - national cuisine.

Due to the acceleration of the world's globalization process and era of consumption society, food's potential as a soft power engine is rapidly growing. Correctly applied, it can influence different spheres of a country's development, foster foreign trade and economic investment, revitalize tourism and increase national brand awareness. In order to actualize its soft power potential, South Korea launched a Korean Food Globalization campaign aimed at making Korean food one of the top five world cuisines by 2017. Initiated by former president Lee Myung-bak and the first lady and generously sponsored and organized by many people on governmental level, the program seemed to be very successful. However, in 2013, the National Assembly of South Korea admitted a breakdown of the globalization campaign and the necessity of its revision. Despite unsatisfactory results, the government believed that recognizable food brand would compliment Korea's desired image of a dynamic and inspiring state, so they proceeded with attempts to win people's hearts and minds through their stomachs. The current paper investigates the program's goals, achieved results and reasons for failure with suggestions on improvements for a revised Korean food globalization campaign.

The aim of this course paper is to reveal and evaluate the soft power potential of South Korea and to track how the country is developing its soft power resources, with special attention to the development of soft power in food. This goal consists of several smaller tasks: 1) to define what soft power is, 2) to estimate the situation in cultural, foreign and domestic policy sectors in South Korea before and after launching a soft power campaign, 3) to examine the Korean Food Globalization Program and evaluate its effectiveness as part of Korea's soft power strategy.

To attain these goals different methods of study were used, including comparative and case study methods. Theoretical foundation of the research is the theory of Soft power, what is reflected in the title of the study.

The object of the research is the concept of soft power, the subject of the research is South Korean soft power and its sources - culture and activity within the borders of the country and in the international arena. Two more subjects of research are Korean cuisine and the Korean Food Globalization Program.

The course paper consists of two main blocks. The first block evaluates the concept of soft power, its structure, origins and expansion. It is also devoted to soft power in the context of South Korea, precisely to the main sources of Korean soft power: pop culture, domestic policy and foreign policy. The second block is dedicated to food as South Korea's soft power source and examines the structure and results of the Korean Food Globalization Program.

Considering the fact that this topic is relatively new, it has not been sufficiently examined in the world of academic literature. This results in a lack of comprehensive books and sources. That is why the theoretical base of this thesis consists primarily of articles from different journals published on the Internet. The Internet community is able to react quickly to the changes in political and social situations and is susceptible to the last tendencies.

Primary sources of this research include the books and articles of the founder of the soft power concept, Joseph Nye, such as Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics, Soft Power and the Struggle Against Terrorism, South Korea's growing soft power. Additionally, the work of Christopher B. Whitney and David Shambaugh, Soft Power in Asia: Results of a 2008 Multinational Survey of Public Opinion, by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs also plays an important role in the thesis. One of the basic primary sources became the website - an official website of the Korean Food Foundation (an organization established for promotion of Korean cuisine). Moreover, considerable amount of interviews with South Korean officials, parliament members, foreign and Korean chefs were used during the topic's examination. As secondary sources, research such as Soft power in the Context of South Korea by Byambakhand Luguusharav, South Korea's Quest for Global Influence by Philipp Olbrich, David Shim, and Dancing Alone: A Hard Look of a Soft Power by Brantly Womak were used. The publications Food as Communication: A Case Study of South Korea's Gastro Diplomacy by Mary Jo A. Pham and The Soft Power of food: A Diplomacy of Hamburgers and Sushi? by Christian John Reynolds were also very helpful and informative.

The concept of soft power in its academic meaning has existed for only twenty years, so its historiography is very limited. As it was mentioned before, Joseph Nye was the first who used this term in his book Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. Later he published a substantial number of books and articles devoted strictly to the theory of soft power, such as Soft Power the Means to Success in World Politics (2005) and Soft Power and the Struggle Against Terrorism, (2004). There are a number of other academic studies which either criticized or supported the concept, and also analyzed soft power strategies in different countries. The first wave of soft power books were devoted to the US, the second wave to China and the third to Japan. Stellar examples of this literature are Soft Power: China's Emerging Strategy in International Politics by Mingjiang Li (2008), Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power is Transforming the World by Joshua Kurlantzick (2007), Soft Power Superpowers: Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States by Yasushi Watanabe and David L. McConnell (2008) and Soft Power and its Perils: U.S. Cultural Policy in Early Postwar Japan and Permanent Dependency by Takeshi Matsuda (2007). After analysis of the soft power strategies of cultural giants, a number of research works about other countries appeared. Among them there were articles dedicated to Korean soft power, such as: South Korea's Growing Soft Power by Joseph S. Nye, How Korean Culture Stormed the World by Amy Nip and Christy Choi (2012) and A Theory of Soft Power and Korea's Soft Power Strategy by Geun Lee, all of which were also used as sources for the present course paper.

Chapter I. The concept of soft power and South Korea's soft power strategy

I.1 The origins of the concept of soft power

The author of the concept of soft power is famous American political thinker Joseph Samuel Nye. He first introduced this theory in 1990 in his book Bound to lead: the changing nature of American power and later dedicated to this concept the whole book Soft power the means to success in world politics. In the preface of the latter book he provided next definition of the term: Soft power is the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments. It arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. When our policies are seen as legitimate in the eyes of others, our soft power is enhanced. Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics, New York, 2005, p. 30.

Development of this concept broadens the understanding of some aspects of international relations and concentrated an attention on non-violent ways of influencing others. The term quickly became extremely widespread and gained popularity among scholars, politicians and journalists. For example, the concept of soft power appeared in a most part of political journals in 2005-2010, was often mentioned in official speeches of statesmen such as George Bush, Barak Obama, Hu Jintao, Angela Merkel and discussed by civil society. A Google search for soft power in December 2006 increased to 67 million English-language hits from only 60,000 in August 2005. Similarly, a Japanese-language search yielded 130,000 hits as of August 2006, compared to a mere 3,000 hits a year earlier. Byambakhand Luguusharav, Soft power in the context of South Korea, Budapest, 2011, p.4. This data is a confirmation of great authoritative stature of Nye's works and their impact on foreign policy of many countries. Twenty years ago we had utterly hard-powered global culture, world leaders preferred to achieve their goals through force, fierce competition, and humanely and environmentally unfriendly ways. Joseph S. Nye showed that making things happen through attraction can also be effective way to success.

I.2 Categorization of various types of soft power in the system of international relations

According to researches of Joseph Nye and his successors it is possible to divide notion of Soft power into 5 different categories, depending on the desired policy effect. There are:

1. Soft power to improve external security environment by projecting peaceful and attractive images of a country;

2. Soft power to mobilize other countries' supports for one's foreign and security policies

3. Soft power to manipulate other countries' way of thinking and preferences

4. Soft power to maintain unity of a community or community of countries

5. Soft power to increase approval ratings of a leader or domestic support of a government. Lee Geun, A Theory of Soft Power and Korea's Soft Power Strategy, Seoul, 2011, p. 4.

Let us look more precise on each of these categories. The soft power strategy of first type comprise combination of public diplomacies to emphasize a peace-keeping image of a country and such soft methods as governmental appeals, national slogans etc. It is often used by a state in the case of entering the international society as a newcomer or transforming into a new hard power noticeable player. One example of this category can be Japan after the Second World War and its efforts to develop peaceful image of the country by means of the Peace postwar constitution, which was enacted in 1947, parliamentary resolution of Three Non-nuclear principles and other anti-war measures. The other example could be today's China with her rapidly developing economics and transforming international image. This soft power strategy is necessary to prevent threatening perception about the country's raised hard power by states, such as the United States, Russian Federation, Great Britain, Japan, etc.

The second type of soft power is used to manage effectively in mobilizing joint action with other states. It is almost impossible to form a coalition of countries for joint actions while an action by a leading state is not justified by reasonable cause. In this case good example would be public indignation with lack of United Stases soft power in its war in Iraq or with global terrorism. Joseph Nye, Soft power and the struggle against Terrorism, 2004. (15.04.14) Justifications foreign invasions through the General Assembly or Security Council resolutions also belong to this category.

The third type of soft power is about changing preferences and even action of others by using ideological and mental resources. For instance, spreading theories, concepts and slogans and in that way softly imposing on other countries specific ways of thinking. Such notions as neoliberalism or globalization were developed and spread by Western powers to the rest of the world. American pop culture and way of being are perfect examples of third category of soft power. International pop-stats, politicians, professors, books, cinema and the internet can also play prominent role in spreading ideas and convictions. That is why possession of world-known celebrities contributes substantially to the soft power index of a country.

The fourth category is about the importance of soft power in maintaining political or economic entities like a nation, a federation or a community. Coercive, forced suppression of malcontents typically are too costly and providing only short-term effect. True identification by the members of such societies belongs to the area of soft power. As the example to this case can be mentioned nation's efforts to maintain its unity around the world through national museums, literature, rituals, inventions of traditions, etc. Kim Kyoung-Hyun, On the relationship between the Roman Empire and its Soft Power,

Vol. 26., no. 1, p. 157. The European Union's attempts to bring in common European constitution, flag of currency are a similar example.

The examples of the fifth type of post power are creating national heroes, showing their leader's bright performances in international congresses or summits to raise his domestic popularity and invoke patriotism. Although this type of soft power is mostly pointed toward domestic audience, without international dimension this fifth category can not exist either.

I.3 Academic disputes over Nye's concept of soft power

After Nye's book was published a growing amount of literature about soft power theory appeared. One of the most popular works concerning this subject was a book written by Yasushi Watanabe and David L. McConnell Soft power superpowers: cultural and national assets of Japan and the United States. They admitted that Joseph Nye built a platform for debate for scholars from different disciplines and laid down considerable theoretical frameworks of this notion. Main attention in their work is paid to the soft power in the bilateral relations between Japan and America as an alternative to military and economic influence to achieve prevalence in foreign relations. But while Nye is focusing on theoretical aspects of the concept, Watanabe and Mc Connell primarily aimed to propose recommendations to the politicians of both countries regarding how to improve soft power resources in the changing circumstances.

The book is divided into five parts focusing on different soft power assets, namely: higher education, Hollywood production, sports, civil society, public diplomacy and J-wave. This reveals practical orientation of the book. The editors mentioned that they are agreeing with Joseph Nye's claim that although soft power concept is recently articulated it was used from the time immemorial. Watanabe Yashushi and David L. McConnell, Soft power superpowers: cultural and national assets of Japan and United States. M. E. Sharpe Inc., 2008, p. 25. Philosophy of ancient Chinese strategists and thinkers the art of winning hearts and minds rested on exactly the idea of soft power. Nye just gave a second birth to this concept and remind to the world about non-violent ways of influencing others.

Although the importance of Nye's concept is indisputable, some critics of his approach to soft power inevitably appear. Chinese scholar Mingjiang Li suggests new way of understanding the concept on the example of Chinese foreign policy. In his book Soft power: China's emerging strategy in international politics he argues that soft power does not exist in the nature of certain sources of power but rather it has to be nurtured through a soft use of power. Mingjiang Li, Soft power: China's emerging strategy in international politics. Lanham, 2009, p. 3. In his critics of Nye's work Mingjiang Li claims that Nye draw the exact boundary between how hard and soft powers are used, however, does not make a clear distinction between the two powers. That is why the theory of soft power needs to be more thoroughly analyzed, scrutinized and structuralized.

According to Chinese scholar the notion of soft power has generated more chaos that clarity because it is under-theorized and in lack of academic refinement. Mingjiang Li, Domestic Sources of China's soft power approach. China security, vol. 5, 2009, p. 37. Consequently, he offers the behavioral approach to catch the essence of the concept of soft power rather than Nye's. Examining the history of application of soft power in China, he picks out the behavioral approach on the ground that it would provide explanation to some empirical and logical questions that the latter one does not consider.

Generally speaking, Mingjiang Li assumes that soft power should be approached based on how it is used in terms of its objectives rather than associating sources with it. If culture, ideology, and values are utilized for coercion, these cannot be counted as soft power, even though their associating sources are soft. Byambakhand Luguusharav, Soft power in the context of South Korea. Budapest, 2011, p. 7. Inversely, economic and military power can be turned into soft, and meet other countries approval and admiration if they are used in a proper way. Li further uses some examples such as culture to justify his approach. Although culture refers to potential soft power resources, it does not mean that all aspects of it can produce attraction among other countries. Some elements of culture might be considered unacceptable in particular countries, therefore, it is necessary for the state to display the favorable part of its culture that would be pleasant for the world society. Besides, Li argues that the behavioral approach is better to explain dramatic rise of China's soft power over the past decades.

Some scholars also assume that Nye's conception is too questionable and ambiguous to the certain extent. One of the most often claims consist in the absence of explanation how resources of power can be transformed into power that affects the actual behavior and lays to favorable outcomes. This problem has been discussed in academic communities and several noteworthy attempts were made to protect Nye's approach. For instance, Alexander Vuving in his paper How soft power works concludes that Nye's concept of soft power can be described as a coherent view that has integrated insights of different well-known political thinkers. The authors of the article Hard power, soft power: toward a more realistic power analysis Pinar Bilgin and Bervain Elis evaluate that Nye's works have gone some ways to complement realist IR by highlighting non-material forms of power that are overlooked in realist power analysis and looking at non-visible forms of power relations. Byambakhand Luguusharav, Soft power in the context of South Korea. Budapest, 2011, p. 11.

The main practical purpose for that Nye wrote his book on the concept of soft power was to alarm American politicians and the government. According to the data that Joseph Nye gives in these books, the United States lost approximately a 30 percent of support in European countries and even more significant percentage in Islamic countries because of a run-up to the war in Iraq. This war is a good proof of theory that an inappropriate and unnecessary use of hard power can conduct to the fall of a country's soft power. Although Nye stands that most of the people with negative perception of America's participation in Iraq War blamed the decisions of Bush administration rather than the United States in general, the image of the country lost its attractiveness. Nye suggests different strategies of improving previous mistakes and re-considering foreign policy of the US, taking into account recent shaped circumstances.

On these grounds some researches considered his research too unilateralist and American centered. For example, Brantly Womack in his article Dancing alone: a hard look of soft power calls Nye unilateralist who perceive soft power first of all as a weapon for realization of American goals. He argues that Nye does not see American policy and goals as interactive with the rest of the world. Womak Brantly, Dancing alone: a hard look of a soft power, Japan Focus, Nov., 2005, p. 35. The similar opinion expresses Alexandre Bohas in the article The paradox of anti-americanism: reflection on the shallow concept of soft power, in his view Nye's analysis is too state-centered. However, it is needed to acknowledge that Nye in his works admits the active and important role of international and non-governmental organizations, universities, businesses, ethnic groups and other non-state actors in wielding soft power. Probably it would be true to say that Nye in his books introduces a new theory into diplomatic vocabulary and at the same time urges the United States to use its soft power more efficiently.

I.4 South Korea's soft power strategy

According to Joseph Nye, it is possible to mark out three main sources of soft power: culture, domestic policy and foreign policy. Culture includes all kinds of arts, traditional cuisine, national language, pop-industry, historical heritage etc. Domestic policy involves economic development, political values, education, social welfare, personal rights and freedoms. Foreign policy as source of soft power includes cooperation with other nations, attractiveness among international community, and membership in various peacekeeping or charitable organizations

Although South Korea rates low compared to the other East Asian countries and much more lower than the United States in terms of economic and military forces, in the case with soft power situation is a little bit different. According to the Joseph Nye, South Korea has impressive potentials of soft power. Joseph S. Nye, South Korea's growing soft power, 2009, p. 24. Various surveys and rankings also prove Korea's success on the international arena. For example, in the annual Monocle magazine's soft power rating of world nations in 2012 South Korea raised to the eleventh position, left behind such influential countries as Italy, Spain, Brazil and Norway. Up two from last year, South Korea has worked to develop their soft power credentials, hosting a number of international summits, performing well at the Olympics and solidifying its position as a driver of innovation. The emergence of Gangnam Style has ensured that it continues its role as the pop powerhouse of Asia Who rules the world? - Monocle's top twenty. (13.03.13), reported the magazine.

Another authoritative organization, Chicago council on global affairs published multinational survey, devoted to perceptions of South Korea among other countries. The results were quite positive, on the scale of feelings toward East Asian powers South Korea got a very warm average rating. The authors of the survey mentioned, that South Korea has taken an active role in promoting regional integration, seeking trade agreements with its allies, and looking to actively meditate disputes between the United States and North Korea and potential tensions between China and Japan. Whitney B. Christopher and Shambaugh David, Soft power in Asia: Results of a 2008 multinational survey of public opinion, The Chicago council on global affairs, 2008, p. 21.

Obviously, South Korea is the country which is aware of the importance of soft power and working hard on promoting itself. Let us look closer on the main sources of Korean soft power and the ways of expanding its potential.

I.5 Culture as a source of Korean soft power

Although Korean government places high emphasis on domestic and foreign policy, culture is still a core of South Korea's soft power sources. While historically, Korean peninsula has been greatly affected by China, and later by Japan, the Koreans could develop its unique and distinctive culture. Ancient cultural heritage along with modern technologies and inherent dynamism allows Koreans to spread its influence around the world. Traditions of Korean ink paintings, crafts, music, architecture or cuisine are highly estimated universally.

However, in contrast to China, Korea is much more famous by its modern popular culture, than its centuries-old traditional arts. That is why speaking about culture as a source of soft power mainly pop culture is implied.

In the last decades, K-pop has become widely spread among younger generations in Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. And after incredible success of Korean singer PSY and his video Gangnam style, Korean pop culture is known everywhere in the world. From the early 2000 there is a special term for the rising popularity of Korean modern music and cinema culture sounds Hallyu or the Korean wave. This term was first applied in 1999 by Chinese journalists amused at the rapidly growing popularity of Korean culture and entertainment in Asia. Started from being much in demand Korean dramas, the Korean wave spread out and became a global phenomenon. By the end of 2011, the total number of YouTube views generated by K-pop videos had surpassed the 1 billion mark, tripling from 800 million in the previous year to more than 2.3 billion while spurred on by huge growths in Europe and the Middle East. Korean Wave, (15.04.14) Because of Hallyu-wave Korea became a leading exporter of music bands, television programs and cinema to Asian states and it helped to increase the total exports of the country. For example, the following table, that consists data from the Korea Creative Contents Agency (brunch of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) shows what a significant place pop industry has in South Korea.

Table 1. Total revenue and exports part from the pop industries for the first quarter of 2012 fiscal year in Republic of Korea Korea Creative Contents Agency, (15.04.14)


Total revenue



?135.5 billion

?35.2 billion


?213.5 billion

?2.2 billion


?183.2 billion

?4.7 billion


?1,882.9 billion

?111.6 billion


?2,412.5 billion

?662.5 billion


?2,123.1 billion

?105.2 billion

Motion Picture

?903.8 billion

?15.6 billion


?997.3 billion

?48.5 billion


?5,284.6 billion

?65 billion

The currency represents South Korean won, KRW/USD = 1, 120 (20.04.2013)

Although there are some cultural backlashes in such countries as Japan and China, Korean entertaining is usually understood in a positive way. According to Chicago multinational survey, majorities in every Asian country agree that the spread of South Korean cultural influence is mainly a good thing (79% in China, 78% in Japan, 44% in Indonesia and 83% in Vietnam). Whitney B. Christopher and Shambaugh David, Soft power in Asia: Results of a 2008 multinational survey of public opinion, The Chicago council on global affairs, 2008, p. 22.

One of the most considerable consequences of the Hallyu was increasing of the popularity of the Korean language. In the age of globalization, language is a valuable resource in supporting national competitiveness. From Vietnam to India - from Turkey to France, a growing number of people start to learn Hangeul, the Korean language. All over the world more and more universities develop Korean language studies and launch Korean philology departments. In 2012 there were more than 640 universities with Korean language proliferation. These academic commitments, undoubtedly, are strong evidence of South Korea's new world status.

Today Korean is a second language growing in popularity. Many Hallyu fans have moved beyond their interest in drama and music to learn Korean, and along with language study they deepen their knowledge of Korean culture. The number of foreigners and Koreans living abroad taking the Korean language proficiency test (TOPIK) has grown rapidly over the years. In 1997, the year the TOPIC was launched, 2274 people took the test. In 2009 the total number of candidates was approximately 180 000, in 49 different countries. Kim Hong-Jin, The growing popularity of the Korean language. (10.03.14) The interest to Hangeul is also evident in the rising number of foreign students coming to Korea to study the language from 55 countries around the world. Several years ago, foreign students could only take courses provided by university's language centers, but nowadays it is possible to receive a master or doctoral degree in Korean. According to a United Nations evaluation on the influence of popular languages in 2007, Korean ranked 9th in the world with total number of speakers about 75 million.

Thanks to the Korean wave the perceptions of South Korea greatly improved during last decades. Korean National Assembly Speaker Park Hee-Tae on the G-20 Summit in Seoul announced, that Hallyu is the best ambassador to deeply touch the hearts of people. Kim Eun-jung, G-20 Speakers' Consultation eyes promoting cultural diplomacy, Younap news, (05.12.13) First successful project of the Korean wave was TV drama Winter Sonata, which achieved immense popularity in Asian countries in 2002-2003. This drama helped other nations to foster a better understanding of Korean culture and people's mentality. Winter Sonata provided foreign audiences with an opportunity to become more familiar with Korea's nature, everyday's lives of Koreans, their habits and lifestyle. After the last episode of the drama was aired abroad, many foreign audiences admitted that their perceptions of South Korea greatly improved and became quite positive. Moreover, it boosted a huge tourist wave to Korea and precisely to the Gangwon province, where the drama was made. Another TV-drama released in Korea in 2003 Dae Jang Guem () also saw purely comparable level of success. Drama has been shown in all South East Asian countries, as well as in South and North America, Middle East and Europe, totally it was aired in over 60 countries around the world. The drama is based on the true story of the woman Jang-Geum, the extraordinary cook and the first female royal physician in the Korean history. Besides being a moral tale, the drama it is also introducing to audiences Royal Korean cuisine and herbal medicine traditions. The show abounded in delicious kitchen scenes inevitably fostered the interest to Korean cookery. In 2004 the Dae Jang Geum Theme Park was opened at the place where the drama was firmed, to promote gastronomy tourism in Korea and present to numerous visitors Korean Court culture.

South Korea is known not only by it dramas, but also cinematography. Golden age of Korean films happens in 1950s and 1960s, but by the 1970s cinema industry in the country considered fell into decay. Nonetheless, it was not only recovered, but achieved international recognition since 2000. During the last 10 years Korean directors won impressive number of prizes and awards on main world film festivals, such as Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, and Berlin Film Festival and were highly estimated by critics and audiences. Korean director Kim Ki-Duk considered to be one of the most enigmatic and philosophical movie-makers, his cinema invites people to speak and think about their lives deeply.

In 2012 Korean Pop influence on the world entertainment industry reached its peak. Music video from South Korean hip-hop singer Psy became the most viewed video in the YouTube's history and, according to many researchers, announced the start of Asia Pacific century. The single Gangnam style, sung in Korean has gone to number one in the United Kingdom, the United States and was viewed over one billion times. Besides, it was also parodied all over the world. Psy proved, that today European or the US artists no longer dominating the world's music charts, Asia is coming in too.

While the masses are puzzled with tremendous success of the Korean video, experts state that it is a result of decades of systematic planning and governmental investment in cultural sector and multimedia. The Korean government has continuously funded exports of Korean content overseas for over 12 years, which has resulted in the recent success of TV dramas, films and K-Pop around the world, commented a representative of the Recording Industry Association of Japan. Nip Amy, Choi Christy, How Korean culture stormed the world. (15.04.13) Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed to spend 295 million of dollars in promoting the Korean wave externally in 2013, the government is clearly keeping a goal to make Korea one of the top five cultural exporters in the world.

I.6 Domestic policy as a source of Korean soft power

The Korean rapid economic growth that was achieved within only 30 years is one of the important resources to improve its reputation and attractiveness among other countries. Devastating consequences of Japanese colonization of Korea (1910-1945) and Korean War in 1950-1953 made Korea one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income of less than $80 per year. When General Park Chung-Hee came to power in 1961, South Korea was strongly dependent on foreign aid, mainly from the United States. Today the country is the 13th largest economy in the world. This dramatic transformation lately got a special name - Korean miracle or the Miracle on the Han River. This term used to refer to South Korea's postwar export-fueled economic growth, including rapid industrialization, technological achievement, education boom, large rise in living standards, rapid urbanization, skyscraper boom, modernization, successful hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics and co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Miracle on the Han River. (19.05.13) Indeed, South Korean economy expanded from almost zero to a trillion dollars from 1960 and 2010.

Graph 1. South Korea GDP evolution from 1911 to 2010 in millions of 1990 International dollars Eberstadt Nicholas, The truth about Korea's economic miracle, (13.05.13)

Obviously, the Korean experience on development evoked widespread responses and admiration of the world community. It is an appealing example for the third world countries and desirable result for many developing states. For most poor countries, South Korea is a model of growth, a better exemplar than China, which is too vast to copy, and better, too, than Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong. All three are richer than Korea but all are, in different ways, exceptions: Singapore and Hong Kong are city-states, while Taiwan's disputed sovereignty makes it sui generis. Korea: democracy, prosperity, now what?, The Economist,

Korean economic development was also combined with progressive democratization. Though Korea's upgrade started from a military dictatorship, for the past 20 years the country has had a forceful parliamentary system. In ten years after democratic transition in 1987, first fair elections took place in South Korea and president Kim Dae Jung came to power. He and his successor - president Roh Moo Hyun accomplished a number of democratic reforms. First of all, Kim Dae Jung actively promoted the Sunshine policy towards North Korea in the post- Cold War times. It improved greatly inter-Korean relations, and removed some injurious aspects caused by anticommunism in modern Korean society. For these efforts, namely "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular" he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. Nobel Peace Prize 2000, (13.04.13) Besides this, Kim's government achieved notable progress in human rights improvement, its main accomplishment was the foundation of the National human rights commission. Next president Roh Moo Hyun is also famous by democratic reforms against authoritarianism and corruption. Thus, during last two decades democracy made substantial progress in South Korea that without doubt positively affects the image of the country.

According to Joseph Nye one of the critical sources of soft power is education. South Korean government obviously realized this fact and higher education standards. UK researcher John Morgan writes in his article about Korean mania for education that the nation of 49 million people has 211 colleges and universities, with junior colleges, education colleges and graduate institutions taking the tally of higher education institutions to 406. By comparison, the UK has a population of nearly 62 million and 165 higher education institutions. Morgan John, Appetite for education. Times Higher Education. (18.04.13) These data witness that Korea is experiencing real education boom. In different World's best universities ratings it is possible to find four South Korean institutions: Seoul National University, that is considered the most prestigious in the country, Yonsei University, that is one of the biggest private universities, and two specialist scientific institutions - Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Nye in his discussions about soft power mentions that one of the facts demonstrating that a county's higher education and research content are universally attractive is the number of international students. While the United States and United Kingdom are still the most popular destinations for foreign students, South Korea is quickly becoming a noticeable player in this sector. Korean government has made considerable investments in home education, with the goal of attracting more students from different countries. According to the data from the Ministry of Justice of South Korea, the country attracted 84,000 foreign students. Out of them, 62,451 visas were issued for students seeking different degrees and 18,534 were issued for students to attend language programs. Moreover, 41,692 were studying for their bachelor degrees, 11,804 for their master's and 3,545 for doctorate among those who had student visas. Seventy five were researchers. Byambakhand Luguusharav, Soft power in the context of South Korea. Budapest, 2011, p. 23. In 2011 total number of international students was 90 000 and by 2020 the government aims to increase foreign students intake to 200 000. The amount of money allocated to the Global Korea Scholarship for supporting international students is approximately 55 billion won and every year this number is growing. Comparing with China and Japan, Korea is still the weakest player in terms of higher education exchange programs. But with the support of government sponsored programs its education status is actively growing.

Korean government is internationally considered very careful and attentive to the needs of its citizens. Some of Korean social welfare projects inspired other countries leadership to launch similar programs for social, economical and environmental sustainability. One of such projects is Cheonggyecheon river restoration. The Cheonggyecheon was a small polluted river in the center of Soul, which was turned into arterial road in 1961 and covered by an elevated highway in 1971. The Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to restore the river, using it as an opportunity to tackle several problems at once. The restoration project was thus intended to recover the flow of the river, to encourage biodiversity back to the area, and create a space where people and nature could interact. Mayer Natalie, The Cheonggyecheon River Restoration Project, Seoul, South Korea, (15.04.13) Now people in Seoul have a new green public place for resting, exercising and enjoying cultural events. The success of the Cheonggyecheon river project has incentivized similar recovering streams projects around the world.

I.7 Foreign policy as a source of Korean soft power

The external posture of Republic of Korea began a new chapter from the 1980s. While accomplishing its previous goals, such as enhancing political legitimacy and economic development, South Korea considerably expanded its diplomatic horizons. First huge international success for Korea was Seoul Olympics in 1988. This Olympic Games was not marked by any bloc-level boycotts and had very high participation rate - 159 countries and more than 9000 athletes. South Korea gained a new global recognition and popularity.

Most impressive success South Korean diplomacy reached in the 1990s. Literally implementing the 1988 Olympics slogan, "From Seoul to the World, and from the World to Seoul," by the beginning of 1990 South Korea had established diplomatic relations with 133 countries, and had 138 diplomatic missions, including representative offices and a consulate department in Moscow. South Korea. Foreign Policy - Basic Goals and Accomplishments. Country Studies. (15.05.13) Desiring to integrate to the world community, in 1991 South Korea along with North Korea entered the United Nations.

President Lee Myung-bak (2007-2012) decided to concentrate on Korea's development and assistant abroad to improve the county's image as a global player. His policy Global Korea embraced different kinds of missions abroad. In the frameworks of this national security strategy several important international meetings were held in Korea. For instance, G-20 Summit in 2010, High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011, FIFA Championship in 2002 and the Nuclear Security Summit in 2012. Carrying out all these events was not only an attempt to join to international community, but also a chance to demonstrate Korea's wealth and influence.

With every year Korean impact on the world's development is being felt more purely. As early as 1987, South Korea began providing foreign assistance. At those times its economy was not ready for large-scale investments, so assistant expenditures were about 24 million dollars. However, Korean aid budget continued to increase and in 2007 Korean government apportioned almost 700 million dollars for foreign aid needs. Olbrich Philipp, Shim David. South Korea's Quest for Global Influence. (15.05.13) Additionally, South Korea systematically provides humanitarian help for its neighbor, North Korea.

Despite substantial amount of investments, South Korea did not automatically deserved status of international assistance key player. President Lee Myung-bak places on the agenda the efficiency of assistance and began to choose the regions and projects for foreign aid more properly.

Pie-Chart below represents distribution of South Korean aid by regions. Ibid

While most of the poorest countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Korea spends only 13% of its aid budget there. More than 50% of its expenditures belong to Asia, which is not surprising, taking into account importance of this region in the world politics. According to the Chicago council multinational survey, Korea got only moderate marks for its regional diplomacy. So, probably, concentrating aid in the home region is a right way to improve its international reputation.

Besides this, Korea is actively participating in different kinds of Green projects. Every year the country spends 2% of its GDP on specific green growth measures. To help other states follow this path, Korea established a Global Green Growth Institute and planning to set up a new Green Climate Fund in 2013.

During the last twenty years South Korea was very active in many international organizations. It had taken a great part in the activities of different subsidiary and specialized United Nations agencies, influenced global economic order through the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, become a strategic partner of various states. Particularly noteworthy was Korea's work in the Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (PECC), where the country played a leading role in liberalizing trade agreements throughout the entire Pacific region. The PECC national committee of South Korea was very successful in negotiating with other members and helped to conclude mutually advantageous trade agreements.

Thus, it is obvious that South Korea is making efforts to become a visible member of international community. Perhaps, in case of Seoul usage of foreign policy as an element of soft power is not as blooming as it could be, taking into account occasional conflicts with North Korea and an undue loyalty to the USA, but it is still fruitful enough to deserve appreciation of general public.

Chapter II. Traditional cuisine as a part of the Soft Power strategy of South Korea

II.1 Food as a soft power tool

As culture is a basic form of soft power, food, being a part of culture also can be used as a soft power mechanism. Although some academics believe that such kind of soft power does not possess enough political visibility, Joseph Nye systematically mentioned food in his writings upon soft power. Moreover, due to the acceleration of the world's globalization processes, food's potential as a soft power engine continues to grow rapidly. Today it is used consciously and unconsciously by many political actors, corporations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals. Correctly applied, soft power in food can influence not only social, but also political and economic spheres.

Here is the question: how such soft power can be applied most effectively? According to Claude Fischler, a famous French social scientist and anthropologist, it is food's symbolism - more than the food itself - that enables soft power in food to be fruitful. Fischler, C. Food, self and identity, Social Science Information, 1988, p. 275-292 National cuisine carries messages and norms. As it spreads around the world, these norms and messages transmit soft power to other actors. The symbolic nature of food culture: the norms, messages and preferences (tastes) of food are products of society, not controlled by the government, but by the society and individuals within it. To be effective, cuisine used a soft power tool must keep its symbolism and cultural message, not allowing it change or lose value as other actors interact with it. Reynolds Christian John, The Soft Power of Food: A Diplomacy of Hamburgers

and Sushi?, 2012, p. 49 Even if other nations would not embrace new cultural concepts through food, they would be aware of the existence of the diet, values and ideas. In that way, cultural propaganda and globalization of food culture and symbolism contribute to the world's peace and democracy. As that kind of soft power fosters nations to consume and think of food in similar ways, intercultural understanding is growing. In the long run it leads to transformation of ideologies and nations.


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