Korea posted a surplus of more than US$100 million in the first five months of this year in terms of international payments for its audiovisual and related services, according to data released by the Bank of Korea last month.
This means that orders for such services as the distribution rights for Korean movies, audio sources and other relevant services are up 32 percent from the corresponding period last year.
Korea did not make any foreign exchange earnings out of these services until 1996. But in 1997, the figure started to slowly rise, reaching $127 million in less than a decade and posting a record high of $278 million in 2008.
The Korean Wave seemed to subside in the following years as it was mainly focused on TV dramas, but with the growing number of Korean pop music fans around the globe, the nation is once again making strong gains through its cultural exports.
It is already well received in Southeast Asia and its popularity is growing in Europe, with concerts and performances in Paris and London recently drawing thousands of fans.
Korea will likely post an even larger surplus in the latter half of this year as more concerts and performances are set to take place overseas. One of the major events planned is "K-Pop All Star Live in Niigata". Popular K-pop bands like Girls' Generation, Kara and 2PM will perform in the Japanese city on Aug. 20.