Korea aiming to refine image abroad

Posted on joongangdaily.joins.com/

Lee Chan-buom was walking along a Manhattan street in June 2008 when a large photo splashed across the front page of The New York Times caught his eye.



The image showed tens of thousands of people gathered in Seoul amid a sea of candlelight stretching from the Gwanghwamun area to City Hall, a gripping scene that captured the fervor of protests here last summer against the government’s decision to resume United States beef imports.

It was one of the few stories from Korea that captivated the world, let alone made the cover of one of the globe’s most influential newspapers. But it wasn’t exactly the kind of media attention the country was hoping to see. “It’s very difficult to get on the front page of The New York Times,” said Lee, now the director general of South Korea’s Presidential Council on Nation Branding, which formed in January. “I understand that such events can be very massive. But I think a better understanding of Korea would probably make such things a little bit less significant.”

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