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In India, the Popularity of Korean Language is Increasing Day by Day

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Korean language. Representational image. Pixabay

December 21, 2016: A growing number of people in India are studying Korean to help themselves find jobs or pursue further studies in the East Asian country, officials said Monday.

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According to the Korean Cultural Center in New Delhi, an average of 203 students signed up for Korean language classes at its King Sejong Institute during every semester of this year.

When the classes first opened in 2013, there were an average of 55 students per semester.
The institute, a state-run organisation that teaches Korean overseas, has also opened new branches in Chennai and Patna, bringing their total number to three.

“In New Delhi and the surrounding capital area, as well as in the northeast where the influence of ‘hallyu’ is strong, more and more universities are opening courses in Korean and there is a growing trend toward studying the language across the country,” said Kim Geum-pyeong, the center chief, referring to the global popularity of Korean pop culture.

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“I think this is due not only to cultural factors, such as the spread of K-pop and hallyu, but also Korean businesses’ interest in the Indian market, which has fed increased demand for Korean in terms of jobs and practical reasons.”

In a study recently conducted by the New Delhi branch, 37 percent of Indians studying Korean said they hope to use it to find a job, while 33 percent said they hope to study further in South Korea. The other respondents said they were motivated by an interest in Korean culture.

In the past two years, 18 people who studied at the New Delhi institute were hired by South Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics, E Land and Oracle, as well as by Indian travel agencies. Eleven others went on to study Korean at an Indian university or received Korean government scholarships to study in South Korea.

Indian universities have also expanded their courses in Korean.

Last year, Banaras Hindu University, which is located in the northeastern city of Varanasi, opened a class in the language, raising the number of Indian universities teaching Korean to 19.

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In March, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi National Open University, which runs courses for 3 million students via TV broadcasts, is set to launch a course in Korean and Korea studies.

-prepared by NewsGram team

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Kim Jong Un Seeks More Inter-Korean Summits

Post-summit nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang quickly settled into a stalemate

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Kim Jong Un, Korean
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with participants in the 4th National Meeting of Activists in Agricultural Field in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, Dec. 28, 2018. VOA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in Sunday calling for more peace talks between the leaders in the new year following their active engagement in 2018, South Korea’s presidential office said.

Moon’s office said Kim also expressed regret that he couldn’t make a planned visit to Seoul, South Korea’s capital, by the end of December as pledged by the leaders during their last summit in September in Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

The Blue House didn’t fully disclose Kim’s letter.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in makes a toast with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a luncheon at Samjiyon Guesthouse in Ryanggang province, North Korea. VOA

‘Difficulties ahead’

Moon later thanked Kim for his “warm” letter in a tweeted message and said without elaborating that Kim expressed strong willingness to carry out the agreements he made this year during a series of inter-Korean summits and a historic June meeting with President Donald Trump.

“There will still be a lot of difficulties ahead,” Moon said in his message. “However, our hearts will become more open if we put in that much effort. There’s no change in our heart about welcoming Chairman Kim (to the South).”

The tweet also included a photo that showed a ruby-colored folder emblazoned with the seal of Pyongyang’s powerful State Affairs Commission and the top part of Kim’s letter, which started with: “Dear your excellency President Moon Jae-in. Our meeting in Pyongyang feels like yesterday but about 100 days have already passed and now we are at the close of an unforgettable 2018.”

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North Korean army soldiers are greeted by South Korean army soldiers, wearing helmets, as they cross the Military Demarcation Line inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to inspect the dismantled South Korean guard post in Cheorwon. VOA

Summits, goodwill gestures

Through three summits between Moon and Kim this year, the Koreas agreed to a variety of goodwill gestures and vowed to resume economic cooperation when possible, voicing optimism that international sanctions could end to allow such activity.

The rivals have also taken steps to reduce their conventional military threat, such as removing mines and firearms from the border village of Panmunjom, destroying some front-line guard posts and creating buffer zones along their land and sea boundaries and a no-fly zone above the border.

“Chairman Kim said that the leaders by meeting three times in a single year and implementing bold measures to overcome the long period of conflict lifted our (Korean) nation from military tension and war fears,” Kim Eui-kyeom, Moon’s spokesman, said in a televised briefing.

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FILE – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, April 27, 2018.

“Chairman Kim said he will keep a close eye on the situation and expressed strong will to visit Seoul. … Chairman Kim also expressed his intentions to meet President Moon frequently again in 2019 to advance discussions on the Korean Peninsula’s peace and prosperity and discuss issues on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the spokesman said.

Moon’s office did not reveal how Kim Jong Un’s letter was delivered or whether he made any comments about his planned second summit with Trump in 2019.

New Year’s address

The letter comes days before Kim is expected to address North Koreans in a New Year’s speech that North Korean leaders traditionally use to announce major policy decisions and goals.

Kim used his New Year’s speech a year ago to initiate diplomacy with Seoul and Washington, which led to his meetings with Moon and a historic June summit with Trump. In his meetings with Moon and Trump, Kim signed on to vague statements calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when or how it would occur.

Also Read: North Korea Refuses To Denuclearize Until U.S. Removes Its Nuclear Threat

Post-summit nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang quickly settled into a stalemate as the countries struggled between the sequencing of the North’s disarmament and the removal of U.S.-led international sanctions against the North. There continue to be doubts about whether Kim will ever voluntarily relinquish his nukes, which he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

Kim and Trump are trying to arrange a second summit in early 2019. (VOA)