(LEAD) 2024 Korea National Brand Up Exhibition opens featuring 7 million overseas Koreans

An exhibition highlighting the history of 7 million overseas Koreans and South Korea's unprecedented political and economic development kicked off at a national museum in Seoul on Thursday. The 2024 Korea National Brand Up Exhibition, co-organized by the nongovernmental organization Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), the Overseas Koreans Agency and Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's key newswire, opened at an underground path leading from Ichon Station to the National Museum of Korea in central Seoul for a six-day run. This year's exhibition, the 13th of its kind, will continue through Tuesday under the sponsorship of the Cultural Heritage Administration and the National Hangeul Museum. Yonhap and VANK, which internationally promotes South Korea and its history online, have co-hosted the exhibition since 2009 to help increase awareness of the country's national and cultural brand. Prior to the opening ceremony, a separate ceremony marking the appointment of young Koreans as global PR ambassadors sup ported by Yonhap was held, and VANK leader Park Gi-tae and Lee Key-cheol, head of the Overseas Koreans Agency, gave special lectures. The theme of this year's exhibition is "7 million overseas Koreans, we are the Republic of Korea." It will actively promote and include South Korea's unprecedented rapid political and economic development in textbooks in each country where overseas Koreans live. After the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korea had to receive aid from other countries as its per capita GDP was only US$67. Today, it has grown to the point of joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and ranks as one of the world's top 10 economies. The exhibition highlights that among about 80 countries that gained independence after World War II, South Korea is the only one to achieve both economic growth and democracy at the level of the European Union. Based on that, it encourages South Koreans and their 7 million compatriots around the world to join forces to promote the nation's political and economic development in foreign textbooks. The exhibition also features the history of Korean immigration, which began when about 100 Koreans left the port of Jemulpo, the old name of Incheon, west of Seoul, in December 1902 and arrived in Hawaii, the United States, in January 1903. Their donations of hard-earned money to the Korean provisional government in China, and the lives of many overseas Korean heroes reported by Yonhap are also on display. Seong Ghi-hong, president and CEO of Yonhap News Agency, said at the opening ceremony that the main characters of the exhibition are overseas Koreans who have overcome various adversities and served as strong supporters for South Korea. Seong also said he pays tribute to overseas Koreans for playing a leading role in enhancing the nation's brand value around the world. Source: Yonhap News Agency