Economic prosperity, an aging population and stark gender imbalance have combined to turn Korea into a major destination for Asian migrants. But Asia’s fourth-largest economy appears to lack institutional systems to keep pace with the change. To better manage the gushing inflow of foreigners, experts call for more vigorous, open discussions over immigrant policy and a multicultural Korea, as well as reinforced public diplomacy and know-how exchanges with other countries.
The blowback from the Yasukuni visits came immediately. South Korea canceled its foreign minister’s visit to Tokyo this week, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated, “As long as Japan does not face up to the history of its aggression, it cannot embrace the future and develop friendly relations with its Asian neighbors.”
From a foreigner`s view, Korea is a very impressive country. In just 50 years or so, Korea overcame the disasters of war and division of two Koreas through utmost effort and sacrifice, and became the world`s seventh largest exporter. The country exhibited an unprecedented pace of economic growth as exemplified by the "Miracle of Han River," the story of which is much touted among foreigners.
The pundits believe this is a honeymoon period for China and South Korea. Ironically, it is happening as Pyongyang has been ratcheting up its rhetoric and war posturing.
An exhibition of Peranakan art and artifacts such as porcelain and beadwork has gone on display at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, as part of cross-cultural exchange between Singapore and Korea. 'The Peranakan World: Cross-Cultural Art from Singapore and the Straits' was developed by the Asian Civilisations Museum here, and will be on show at the Korean national museum till May 19.
A delegation of senior representatives of Korea's tourism industry visited Israel this week in a bid to increase public awareness of the country as an enticing tourist destination. Their trip coincided with the annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market represented by 30 different countries at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.
With public diplomacy emerging as a crucial tool of statecraft, Park will have to shake off her out-of-touch image and engage peoples at home and abroad. Her vision for an “era of diplomacy by the people” includes broader opportunities for the Korean youth to take part in development programs, more overseas Korean language schools and support for cultural exports. She has also pledged to scale up official development assistance and house at least five more international organizations here.
As the phenomenon known as the Korean Wave, or "Hallyu" in the native tongue, grows in popularity throughout the world, South Korea is hoping to use its pop culture's recent fame to promote public diplomacy, especially in Latin America where the Asian culture is truly beginning to be embraced.