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Korea to nurture diversity in K-pop

The South Korean government said it will nurture diversity in Korean pop, which is heavily idol-group centered, as part of its strategy to boost the global competitiveness of Korean pop culture.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a package of plans to promote Korea’s pop culture as a new growth industry overseas, along with the celebration of the re-opening of the Olympic Hall as a K-pop concert hall at the Olympic Park in eastern Seoul on Wednesday evening.

“Although K-pop’s popularity has surged on the back of idol groups, Korea needs to secure diversity in its pop music especially to sustain a continuous growth of K-pop,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In detail, small concert hall Muse Live at the Olympic Hall and marketing service Hongdae Indie Club will play a central role to spur indie music,” it said.

Muse Live will hold regular indie music concerts and indie music competitions, while Hongdae Indie Club will be a integrated online/offline system for ticketing and marketing for indie music, the ministry said.

The government will also push forward a program to support tentatively-named “K-pop Academy,” through which local entertainment agencies can nurture talents who live overseas.

Besides the K-pop strategy, the ministry announced other plans.

One of them is to establish tentatively-named “Korean Cultural Exchange Hall” to promote academic research and experience programs for Korean pop culture. The hall will be equipped with a film screening room and a pop music museum, it said. The ministry did not say where it will be located.

The government will also establish “Korea Friendly Network,” recognizing producers, agencies and opinion leaders who have contributed to the spread of the Korean Wave and award one of them “Hallyu Didimdol Grand Prize” as part of the annual Korea Content Award, the ministry said.

The ministry and the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation have been remodeling the Olympic Hall for the past year to expand the size of the stage.

To celebrate the opening of the new building, veteran singers and K-pop idol groups including Super Junior, 2PM, Four Minute, and After School performed at the Olympic Hall on Wednesday evening.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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