S. Korea’s image among Americans more positive than ever before, poll finds

Posted on : 2020-10-20 17:08 KST Modified on : 2020-10-20 17:08 KST
Experts attribute increased popularity to K-pop, cultural influences and COVID-19 response
Global K-pop sensation BTS. (AP/Yonhap News)
Global K-pop sensation BTS. (AP/Yonhap News)

Americans view South Korea more favorably than ever before, a new poll finds.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA), an American think tank that specializes in foreign policy polling, reported on Oct. 19 that Americans gave South Korea an average favorability rating of 60 out of 100 in a survey of 2,111 adults around the country on July 2-19.

That was the highest level since the survey began in 1978. South Korea’s favorability has risen steadily in the CCGA’s poll, up from 44% in 2006 and 55% in 2016.

Karl Friedhoff, the CCGA analyst in charge of the survey, explained the rise in South Korea’s favorability by citing Korea’s successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as cultural factors such as the popularity of K-Pop, the Academy Awards won by the film “Parasite,” and access to Korean series through Netflix.

Among respondents, 47% said that Korea’s efforts to contain COVID-19 had been generally effective, compared to 37% who thought that the US and China’s response had been effective.

Furthermore, 74% of respondents regard the US and South Korea as partners. 68% of respondents said that South Korea and the US are engaged in fair trade, a big jump from 53% in 2017.

The survey was conducted with support from the Korea Foundation, under President Lee Geun.

By Hwang Joon-bum, Washington correspondent

Please direct comments or questions to [english@hani.co.kr]

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