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August 1, 2009

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ROKing out and catching Korean pop culture wave

CATCH the "Korean Wave" at the Republic Of Korea Pavilion, featuring the culture, pop music, TV and movies that have captivated young people around the world.

The "kingdom of pop arts" also shows off its fashion, animation, arts, technology, industry and grand tourism adventures.

The ROK Pavilion at World Expo 2010 will be its most expensive ever and is expected to lure visitors to the specialized Expo 2012 in Yeosu themed "The Living Ocean and Coast."

South Korea has taken part in 17 World Expos and specialized expositions since the 1962 World Expo in Seattle, Washington state.

It has always been among the most popular of Expo pavilions and was voted best pavilion at the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, Japan, and most popular pavilion at the specialized Expo in 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain (sustainable water).

South Korea's investment in World Expo 2010 Shanghai will be its biggest-ever Expo investment that it hopes will lure visitors to its own 2012 extravaganza.

It will explore urban living today. Its own theme will be "Friendly City, Colorful Life."

The white, three-story ROK Pavilion will be easy to recognize. The exterior of the 6,000-square-meter structure is composed of hundreds of thousands of Korean letters in relief, about 20 basic letters.

ROK writing is one of the greatest inventions of its people, so the country will highlight words at the Expo 2010, says Joon Sang Chang, director of South Korea's Expo team.

On entering the pavilion, visitors will get a miniature view of the capital city, Seoul. The iconic buildings and surrounding mountains will be reduced 300 times in size.

Visitors can view the scenery of the Seoul's Mt Bukhan, rising 836.5 meters above sea level.

The pavilion will feature a performance stage, cinema and a waterfall. Visitors can watch traditional folk performances and a short film by famous ROK director Kim Seong Soo.

Moreover, the kingdom of pop arts plans to reel in young people with appearances of its pop stars such as Rain, actor Bae Yong Joon and TVXQ. Stars are likely to pop up to welcome visitors, pose with them and perform some of their best-loved acts.

The main exhibition area on the second floor will feature sections on culture, technology, humanity and nature -- all about urban living.

Highlights will include four hologram guides, including a fashion model, a foreign chef, a woman and an IT engineer, all showing visitors where to go.

First the model will lead visitors to pass a special corridor to the exhibition area.

As they walk along, a high-speed camera will take their pictures and project them onto the wall in real-time.

The chef will show visitors Korean cities through a foreigner's eyes and share his diaries, online blog and albums. He will also introduce traditional Korean cuisines.

The woman will lead visitors to her environmentally friendly home, filled with advanced sustainable technologies, including vehicles.

The IT engineer will take visitors to a world that combines real exhibits and virtual multimedia.

A restaurant will serve popular Korean food, including authentic stone rice, which is popular in China. Visitors can try hanjeongsik, a full-course Korean meal with banchan (side dishes) and kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage). Hot kimchi, rice and poricha (barley tea) accompany most meals.

The next Expo host country will unveil plans for the Yeosu Expo 2012 in a pavilion section titled "I Ocean." Visitors will enter an area lapped artistically by ocean waves, echoing the theme of the Korea Expo, "The Living Ocean and the Coast."

The Yeosu Expo will run from May 12-August 12, 2012. The three-month event aims to raise awareness of the ocean and coastline and propose sustainable uses that enable man to prosper and nature to flourish.

Issues will include preventing the rise in sea levels from global warming, preserving coastlines, preventing ocean pollution, developing new marine technologies and creative maritime activities.

The ROK Expo team has increased the Shanghai World Expo budget to 40 billion South Korean Won (US$32 million) from 29.6 billion won to make the pavilion an Expo highlight, says Jeong Kee Kim, consul general of the ROK in Shanghai.

The ROK has increased its visitors target from 5 million visitors to 7 million visitors, 10 percent of the Expo total, he said. ROK Pavilion Highlight: The pavilion will be composed of about 20 basic ROK letters.Theme: Friendly City, Colorful Life What to see?

South Korean pop stars are likely to pop in to the ROK Pavilion, perform, mingle and pose with visitors. They include Rain, actor Bae Yong Joon and TVXQ, which is expected to stage a concert.

What to eat?

The restaurant will serve Korean food galore and famous dishes. They include hanjeongsik, a full-course meal with an array of banchan (side dishes) and kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage). Kimchi, rice and poricha (barley tea) accompany most meals.

Want to have fun?

A miniature of the capital city of Seoul will be exhibited. Buildings and nearby mountains will be reduced 300 times.

Visitors will walk through a corridor where a high-speed camera will record their images and project them onto the wall.6,000 sq m

Area of the three-story structure that is composed of around 20 basic ROK letters.40b South Korean won (US$32 million)

The ROK budget for its pavilion, increased from 29.6 billion won.7m visitors

Number of visitors expected, 10 percent of the total 70 million expected for the Expo.


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