President Park promotes K-pop, Hallyu in Peru

April 20, 2015
President Park Geun-hye, left, receives a present from a group of Peruvian K-pop fans at a Lima hotel, Sunday. Park arrived in Lima the previous day for talks with her Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala on how to further strengthen economic and other relations. (Yonhap)

President Park Geun-hye, left, receives a present from a group of Peruvian K-pop fans at a Lima hotel, Sunday. Park arrived in Lima the previous day for talks with her Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala on how to further strengthen economic and other relations. (Yonhap)

By Do Je-hae

President Park Geun-hye met with Hallyu fans in Peru Sunday during the second leg of her South American tour.

Korean TV dramas and pop music are becoming more popular in Peru, where more than 120 K-pop fan clubs are registered with the Korean Embassy, according to the Blue House. The clubs have over 30,000 fans combined.

Park’s encounter with 14 Peruvian Hallyu enthusiasts took place at a hotel in Lima at the request of some of the fan clubs.

“I heard that members of the fan clubs learn Korean dance and ‘Hangeul’ (Korean alphabet) together,” Park said. “These activities will bring our two countries closer,” she added.

Peru is one of the most active South American countries in screening Korea TV dramas such as the MBC hit “Star in My Heart,” starring Ahn Jae-wook and the late Choi Jin-sil, in 1997. Since their introduction to Peruvian audiences in 2002, Korean dramas have gained more popularity.

The average rating of Korean dramas hovers around 6 percent, according to a Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) report last year. “Autumn in My Heart” and “Jewel in the Palace” were also popular among Peruvian viewers.

Korean dramas with Spanish subtitles on YouTube have made it possible for larger Peruvian audiences to enjoy them and learn about Korea at the same time.

MBC’s “Empress Ki,” the 2014 epic drama starring Ha Ji-won and Joo Jin-mo, was purchased by Peru’s Panamericana TV and Panama’s SERTV.

The president received gifts from the visitors and exchanged thoughts on popular Korean dishes, such as grilled pork and kimchi. She also expressed a liking for Peruvian food. “I had some of your dishes for lunch and I thought it was well-suited for the Korean palate.”

“Cultural exchanges deepen friendships,” Park said. “I hope you get a chance to visit Korea in the future.”

The Korean Embassy in Peru has actively held events to promote Korean culture, such as lectures and movie screenings.

Park took some time to learn about Peruvian culture during a visit to a history museum in Lima.

She also met with the Korean community in Peru and asked them to work for unification. Peru has diplomatic relations with the two Koreas.

During her state visit, she held summit talks with her Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala, Monday.

4 Comments

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