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South Korea president says creative content key to nation's future

President Moon Jae-in (3-L) meets with members of South Korean boy band BTS on Saturday. Moon said Seoul is to invest nearly $300 million in the country's digital contents industry. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
President Moon Jae-in (3-L) meets with members of South Korean boy band BTS on Saturday. Moon said Seoul is to invest nearly $300 million in the country's "digital contents industry." File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his country is enjoying a "renaissance" in digital media following the success of bands like BTS and the Oscar-winning film Parasite.

As contemporary South Korean culture and arts gain traction around the world, Seoul is to invest nearly $300 million in the area of "digital contents," Moon said, according to Newsis and News 1 on Thursday.

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Moon pledged strong government support for the contents industry, including movies, music, online artworks and digitized books, because of their potential to transform the country's standing on the world stage.

"If the manufacturing industry has built up our economy in the second half of the last century, cultural contents will be the driving force for national development in the next 100 years," Moon said. "We look forward to opening the era of 'content renaissance' by bringing together cultural artists, companies, and people.

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"Enhancing the competitiveness of our digital content industry is the key to opening a new future for Korea."

The South Korean leader, who recently met with BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook after their hit song "Dynamite" stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart for two weeks, said the success was "no coincidence."

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Moon said South Korean content exports surpassed $10 billion for the first time in 2019. Despite the global economic slowdown amid COVID-19, the sales of K-pop albums increased by 42% in the first half of 2020, the president said.

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"We will make more efforts to close the digital gap, expand digital public contents, and expand digital contents-related jobs," Moon said.

As part of Seoul's "Digital New Deal," Moon pledged to create 1,400 new jobs in the contents industry.

Moon also said South Korea's digital contents market, including entertainment media, is the fifth largest in the world after the United States, China, Japan and Britain.

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On Thursday, the Korea Development Bank said public funds designed to promote South Korean digital media have produced results. KDB created a $25 billion fund in the past decade to foster the new industries, according to local news service Shin-A Ilbo.

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