January 23, 2019 12:50
The North Korean nuclear threat was the biggest negative factor in South Korea's image among foreigners, a survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism suggests.
Among 8,000 people across 16 countries surveyed, 80.3 percent had positive image of South Korea. For the biggest proportion or 40 percent the country's cuisine was the first thing that came to mind, followed by K-pop with 22.8 percent, Korean culture in general with 19.1 percent and cosmetics with 14.2 percent.
Popular culture encompassing K-pop, soaps and movies was the biggest reason why 35.5 percent liked South Korea, followed by economic status with 17.5 percent, cultural heritage with 12.3 percent and Korean brands and products with 12 percent.
Among respondents with unfavorable views of South Korea, the biggest proportion or 23.3 percent cited the North Korean nuclear threat. South Korea's corrupt politics and endless presidential scandals put off 19.6 percent, and the country’s fractious international relations 13 percent.
By nation, the biggest fans of South Korea were Indonesians with 96.4 percent taking a favorable view, followed by Russians at 95.6 percent, Mexicans at 93.8 percent and Indians at 93 percent.
But 43.3 percent of respondents in Japan had a negative impression and 11.2 percent in China. The figure in the U.S. and the U.K. was 6.8 percent and 6.6 percent.
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