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ROK to sing away its blues

[ 2010-05-27 13:10]     字号 [] [] []  
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BoA and Kang Ta will join a stellar cast of pop stars on Sunday as the Republic of Korea (ROK) looks to end its extended National Pavilion Day celebrations on a high and forget its troubles with its neighbor, officials said on Wednesday.

Japan and ROK’s chart-topping singer BoA will perform at a Korean Music Festival along with Kang Ta (Ahn Chil-hyun), lead singer of Seoul boy band H.O.T., and members of Korean bands Super Junior and FX at the Expo's Culture Center, they said.

Korean diplomats spent the early part of Wednesday shoring up Sino-ROK relations and looking ahead to 2012, when the coastal city of Yeosu will hold a 93-day World Expo. Other events on Wednesday included a fashion show by Greta Lee.

"By cooperating with the organizers here, we hope we can boost the number of visitors to the Yeosu Expo to 10 million," said ROK's Sports and Culture Minister Yu In-chon, who attended the press conference wearing a green hanbok, or traditional Korean outfit.

He said the country plans to turn Yeosu, a city on the southern coast that includes more than 300 islands in its jurisdiction, into an international ocean resort city. As such, one of the themes of the 2012 Expo will be preserving marine ecosystems.

Ironically, the ROK's maritime affairs have grabbed the world's attention this week for other, less enjoyable reasons.

ROK President Lee Myung-bak has demanded an apology from Pyongyang and is threatening sanctions after accusing its neighbor of torpedoing one of Seoul's warships, the Cheonan, in an incident that claimed the lives of 46 sailors in March.

Pyongyang has responded by threatening to sever all ties and end the two sides' non-aggression pact while allegedly ordering its troops to prepare for combat.

"I don't think Pyongyang will do anything beyond its usual brinkmanship," Charm Lee, the German-born president of the Korea Tourism Organization, told China Daily. He has lived in Seoul for more than 30 years.

Korean language, soap operas and music became buzzwords across China and Asia at large several years ago, but the excitement seems to have died down.

Hoping to add fresh momentum to this stalled Koreaphilia, the country has built a vast and complicated national pavilion at the Shanghai Expo that spans roughly 8,000 square meters and is composed of colorful Korean characters. Inside it’s filled with interactive, child-oriented exhibits.

Many of these reflect the country's obsession with massive multiplayer online games, coming in the form of computer programs that let users plant virtual seeds, build animated bicycles or explore Korean cuisine.

One wall-sized touch screen goes some way toward aping the technology used by Tom Cruise's character in Minority Report by letting users sling animations around using their hands. Yeosu has an entire underwater-themed room devoted to it, again with a heavy emphasis on computer game-themed fun.

"The Yeosu Expo will share some of the themes of the Shanghai Expo, such as future cities, but we have a clear strategy of how to make it quite unique," Yu said.


1. Who is among the lineup for the Korean Music Festival at Expo Park?

2. Where is the next World Expo?

3. How big is the Korea pavilion at Shanghai Expo?


1. BoA and Kang Ta, and members of Korean bands Super Junior and FX.

2. The coastal city of Yeosu will host a 93-day World Expo in 2012.

3. A vast and complicated national pavilion spans roughly 8,000 square meters and is composed of colorful Korean characters. Inside it’s filled with interactive, child-oriented exhibits.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

ROK to sing away its blues

About the broadcaster:

ROK to sing away its blues

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.