3.4.1 Overview of main structures and trends
Interest in international cultural exchange has grown rapidly. Newly established organizations to address this interest exist at various levels of governments and also in the nonprofit field. The Ministry has focused on encouraging individual exchange and cooperation, as well as the promotion f Korean culture worldwide. Cooperative actions has been pursued on the basis of reciprocity and or taken the form of Official Development Assistance.
In 2002, a first policy report on international cultural exchange, 「Long Term Development Plan in the International Cultural Exchange (2002)」 was published. This is the main document that states the policy orientation in matters of cultural exchange and acknowledges the reciprocal nature and benefits of cultural exchange. Apart from the official declaration of principle in international cultural exchange, the Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs and Trade also stated that the pursuit of cultural diplomacy must take a bilateral form.
The government and the market has been prompted to pay close attention to the growing popularity of Korean pop culture since the beginning of the new century. This phenomenon, namely “Hallyu (Korean Wave)”, despite controversy regarding its commercial aspects, has been perceived as a medium to increase cultural exchange.