Having Soft Power In Korea Is More Difficult Than It Seems According To The Guardian. As the most-watched show in Netflix history, Squid Game captivated audiences in 94 different countries. In total, 26 new Korean words have been included in the Oxford English Dictionary. Recently, the members of the K-pop group BTS visited the White House and had a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden after topping charts throughout the world.
The “Korean wave” of culture, known as Hallyu, first hit Asia many years ago and has since made its way to the western shores, as chronicled in a new exhibition at the V&A in London. All seriousness aside, this is serious business. Shrimp to Whale, a contemporary novel, highlights Korea’s heroic postwar ascension from extreme poverty and misery by playing on an old proverb that portrays the country as a little creature surrounded by leviathans.
Even now, South Korea considers itself a regional power. However, it has recently emerged as a global powerhouse in the fields of finance, technology, and culture. Some in the administration like to joke that the South’s nuclear weapon is its soft power, or its capacity to persuade others to do what it wants without resorting to force or monetary compensation.
Soft power, a term coined by Joseph Nye in the late 1980s, is said to be dependent on a country’s domestic ideals, political principles, and international initiatives. It’s not as simple to construct as the accumulation of bombs and tanks for hard power. China has spent a lot of money on “soft power” programs, but we still haven’t had a hit like “Blackpink” or “Snowpiercer” from them.
Its capacity to attract an international audience is hampered by its insistence on micromanaging cultural projects. Because it “fans the flames of nationalism and keeps tight the reins of party control,” Professor Nye argues, the party’s influence will be constrained for the foreseeable future. As a counterexample, democratic South Korea has taken a detached stance, inspired in part by British programs like the British Council.
Both Squid Game and the Oscar-winning Parasite paint an unflattering picture of the country that gave birth to them. However, they were successful because they showed the world the enormous cruelty and injustice of modern capitalism in that country. The concept is based on the belief that states, rather than governments, are the rightful owners of soft power. The intricate history of South Korea’s rise to cultural superpower status is difficult to trace.
It’s fine for the government to have part of the credit, but the public sector deserves more. Reminiscent of the control and punishment witnessed under authoritarian dictators like Ms. Park’s father, the revelation in 2016 that former president Park Geun-administration he’s had blacklisted thousands of artists and entertainers sparked widespread indignation. These are the individuals who have fostered, pushed for, and fought for creative and media freedom.
We live in a time when the world’s leaders are no longer hiding behind diplomatic platitudes and force is once again front and center. All around the world, nationalist strongmen have taken power. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was the pinnacle of a show of force. Support for Ukraine has been bolstered in other nations thanks to a number of factors, including video addresses by Volodymyr Zelensky, who has so convincingly assumed the character of a war leader, the sharing of daily life by civilians, and even the defiant humor of postal stamps.
For this reason, the political resolve to continue providing it with heavy armament in the face of the Russian menace has been kept strong. The use of soft power is difficult for several reasons. However, this does matter. As you’ve traveled all the way from India to be here with us today, we’d like to ask you a favor. Since we first published 200 years ago, tens of millions of people have relied on the Guardian’s courageous journalism in times of crisis, uncertainty, solidarity, and hope.
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