Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon noted Korean pop culture’s influence in promoting the Korean language and culture on Hangeul Proclamation Day, a national holiday celebrating the creation of the Korean characters by King Sejong, the fourth ruler of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
“The youth of the world learns and sings the Korean lyrics in BTS songs,” Lee said during a commemorative address at the national ceremony for the 572nd anniversary of the writing system’s inception at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (left) and K-pop group BTS (Yonhap, Big Hit Entertainment)
Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom announced Monday that the presidential office had decided to acknowledge BTS with the Hwagwan medal, the fifth-place honor in South Korea’s Order of Cultural Merit. Lee explained the decision as a recognition of the band’s contributions in “spreading not only the Korean popular culture, but also the language.”
“The Korean language is no longer solely ours. The King Sejong Institute, which teaches Hangeul worldwide, operates 174 language centers in 57 countries as of this year,” he said, attributing the proliferation of the Korean language to the success of the nation’s pop culture industry.
By Kim Arin (firstname.lastname@example.org)