[Letters] Correcting errors about KoreaRegarding the Oct. 19 editorial, “Correcting facts about Korea,” I support strongly your opinion. Correcting facts about Korea is essential work for raising the prestige of Korea. A wrong national image causes many problems. These kinds of problems are more serious, because they are related to national competitiveness. We are no longer mere spectators.
According to a recent survey by Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), the best known image of Korea is as the world’s only divided country. Despite the fact that there are many other things to be proud of like kimchi or Hangul, this image has become the representative image overseas. This means that national publicity is needed more and more.
Since national image is linked directly with national interest, we should focus on building a beneficial image of Korea. However, unless we correct facts about Korea, all efforts will become useless. This work is the most essential task we have to undertake.
You mentioned the government’s role, and I totally support your opinion that the government should spend more money to hire more personnel. China and Japan both distribute national historic materials or their promotional brochures to libraries in universities overseas. We also need to develop our materials and dispatch them like China and Japan. The expense and personal effort should be supported by the government. Now the government needs to have a macroscopic view, as we are not a developing country anymore.
There are still many errors on the Web or in other places. Sometimes it’s not enough for the government or certain organizations to find and correct them all. The private sector should join the effort as you said.
For example, Societe Generale, a French bank, has an incorrect statement about Korea on its Web site. They indicate that the location of a South Korean branch is in North Korea. When an individual saw this error, she sent an e-mail to Societe Generale and now she and her friends are waiting for an answer, and a correction.
We shouldn’t neglect the errors about Korea. It is like locking the stable door after the horse has already bolted.
As we are proud of our country, we offer chances to foreigners to feel our pride.