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What's Your First Thought About Korea?

2008/11/25 | Permalink | Source

When foreign opinion-makers think about Korea, often the first image that springs to mind is that of a divided country.

According to a survey conducted by Corea Image Communication Institute, 39.3 percent of the 117 foreign opinion leaders surveyed -- including CEOs of foreign firms, bank managers, diplomats, and professors who either reside in Korea or have visited -- said their first image of Korea was of "a divided country", followed by Kimchi (18 percent), Samsung (12 percent), and North Korea's nuclear issues (6 percent).

When a similar survey was conducted in 2003, "a divided nation" also ranked first, but at the smaller proportion of 17 percent of respondents. The recent increase came amid speculation over the deteriorating health of Kim Jong-il, researchers said.

When asked what raises the greatest awareness of Korea, 48.4 percent of respondents said that corporations like Samsung, LG and Hyundai do.

Korean products most popular with foreigners were televisions (41.9 percent), followed by cell-phones (18 percent), food (12.8 percent), and automobiles (7.7 percent).

While Asians' preference for Korea's TV scored a whopping 66.7 percent, European liked Korean food (26.1 percent) and films (13 percent) more than foreigners from other continents.

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