In recent years, South Korea has developed an effective soft power strategy through the use of culture and cultural products to enhance the country’s global influence and status. The so-called “Korean Wave” – Hallyu – has significantly contributed to increasing soft power and to supporting an attempt at national re-branding, aimed at providing South Korea with a new set of attributes and characteristics on the international stage. The use of cultural instruments for foreign policy purposes also had consequences for what concerns its relations with North Korea. In particular, inter-Korean relations can be negatively affected in two areas by the development and spread of South Korea’s soft power. First, the circulation of South Korean cultural products in North Korea, which has significantly grown in recent years, could be perceived by the North Korean leadership as a sort of “cultural attack”, starting a process of “securitization” of cultural products that can result in an antagonizing dynamic between the two Koreas. Second, the emphasis on specific characteristics of a “South Korean identity” can undermine the process of inter-Korean reconciliation.

The Use of Culture and Cultural Products in Inter-Korean Relations

Marco Milani
2023

Abstract

In recent years, South Korea has developed an effective soft power strategy through the use of culture and cultural products to enhance the country’s global influence and status. The so-called “Korean Wave” – Hallyu – has significantly contributed to increasing soft power and to supporting an attempt at national re-branding, aimed at providing South Korea with a new set of attributes and characteristics on the international stage. The use of cultural instruments for foreign policy purposes also had consequences for what concerns its relations with North Korea. In particular, inter-Korean relations can be negatively affected in two areas by the development and spread of South Korea’s soft power. First, the circulation of South Korean cultural products in North Korea, which has significantly grown in recent years, could be perceived by the North Korean leadership as a sort of “cultural attack”, starting a process of “securitization” of cultural products that can result in an antagonizing dynamic between the two Koreas. Second, the emphasis on specific characteristics of a “South Korean identity” can undermine the process of inter-Korean reconciliation.
2023
South Korean Popular Culture in the Global Context: Beyond the fandom
77
93
Marco Milani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/919202
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