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[Herald 70th] Korea Herald, mirror of evolving Korea-US ties: US ambassador

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : May 25, 2023 - 16:10

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Philip Goldberg, the US ambassador to South Korea (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald) Philip Goldberg, the US ambassador to South Korea (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)

Over the past seven decades, The Korea Herald has been a mirror of South Korea's rapid democratization, economic growth and cultural prosperity for its short modern history of rising from the ashes of the Korean War, the US ambassador to South Korea said.

Philip Goldberg, at "The ROK-US Alliance Plus" forum Wednesday commemorating the 70-year Korea-US alliance, thanked The Korea Herald reporters for their work in telling Korea's story to the world, and for reflecting the growth of the bilateral relationship to a global comprehensive partnership.

"Your paper has literally chronicled South Korea's rise from the devastation of the war and postwar recovery to becoming an influential democracy in just seven decades," Goldberg said in his speech during the forum hosted by the Herald Corp. Herald Corp. is the publisher of The Korea Herald, which also celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, as well as Herald Business.

As one of the major English-language newspapers, The Korea Herald has played a "pivotal role" linking English-speaking audiences with what matters in Korea, he said, covering Korea's journey from a war-torn country to Asia's fourth-largest economy that is now looking to take on the role of a global pivotal state.

"Features in the 1950s and '60s detailed American support for (South Korea)," Goldberg said.

"Now you tell the story of two like-minded partners working together to bring security, prosperity and democracy to countries emerging from their own struggles."

From reporting on the latest trends in the US, now Herald readers "follow how wildly popular Korean cultural exports have become abroad, particularly in America," Goldberg said.

Once considered a fast-follower in cultural aspects -- highly influenced by US cultural goods in the late 20th century -- Koreans have swiftly risen to being a cultural exporter. More of what Koreans watch, wear, sing and dance along to are becoming a global phenomenon.

K-pop bands like BTS, Blackpink and most recently NewJeans and Fifty Fifty, as well as the Oscar-winning "Parasite" and Netflix megahit show "Squid Game" have helped buttress the Korean language hype globally, and the US was no exception.

The US college student enrollment in Korean language classes rose nearly twofold from 2006 to 2016 to reach 15,000, according to the latest data by collected by the Modern Language Association.

Goldberg said the "enduring friendship" and comprehensive partnership between the two countries have been reflected on the pages of the Herald, which helped strengthen bilateral ties across all areas.

"Our close ties now extend across our societies and unite the Korean and American people. It's because we all care deeply about each other's countries and our progress," he said.