President Moon Jae In, BTS, Lee Min Ho, Song Hye Kyo, and PSY are Top 5 Vote Getters of the National Image Survey

The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and its affiliate the Korean Culture and Information Service released the results of a recent 2019 South Korean National Image survey. It polled 8000 people from 16 countries including within South Korea and asked who came to mind that is representative of the country. Coming in first is President Moon Jae In with 7.9% followed by top boy idol group BTS at 5.5%. Both have Time Magazine covers so clearly they have global name recognition. In third place is actor Lee Min Ho with 4.3%, then Song Hye Kyo at 4.1%, with singer PSY rounding out the top 5 with 3.6%. Check out the full list below.

1. Current President Moon Jae In (7.9 percent)
2. BTS (5.5 percent)
3. Lee Min Ho (4.3 percent)
4. Song Hye Kyo (4.1 percent)
5. PSY (3.6 percent)
6. Former President Park Geun Hye (3.2 percent)
7. BlackPink (3.1 percent), Song Joong Ki (3.1 percent)
9. Former head of UN Ban Ki Moon (2.3 percent), soccer star Son Heung Min (2.3 percent)
11. Bae Yong Joon (2.1 percent)
12. retired ice skater Kim Yuna (1.9 percent)
13. Park Ji Sung (1.7 percent)
14. Girls Generation (1.6 percent)
15. Kim Dae Jung (1.5 percent)
16. Singer-actor Rain (1.3 percent), EXO (1.3 percent)
18. Super Junior (1.1 percent)
19. Park Shin Hye (1 percent)
20. Lee Byung Hun (0.8 percent)


President Moon Jae In, BTS, Lee Min Ho, Song Hye Kyo, and PSY are Top 5 Vote Getters of the National Image Survey — 48 Comments

  1. LMH is truly something. Both LMH and KSH have been on a long break without any active projects but only LMH made the list. You could say he and BYJ are the entire hallyu revolution alongside SHK who has surprisingly persevered despite all the controversy. Another surprise is BP making it on the list ahead of SNSD and being the only girl group from their generation to make the list. Their popularity worldwide is clearly almost as big as BTS.

    • Bp is not on level of bts as much as blinks try to be. They cant even touch bts numbers on sales and touring gross merchandise. They have to deflated ticket sales and size of venue to show sold out. Bts members dont go on boasting their endorsements but recently their former cosmetic company revelaed they earn 8.5 million usd per brand. Bp did 16 cfs last year but u know that inckuded all solo cfs of each member and group cfs. That is not kuch considering half of those r lisa’s alone.bts dont need to do luxury image like bp and attend fashion show to tell how global they are
      Bp has insta followers as their claim to fame. The day bts members make their personal instas these girls will be surpassed easily.
      Dont ever put them in same league with bts
      Go watch their american tragic performances and see the difference between 2 groups
      Yg trying to push them wont put them with bts
      The level fo diffeeence in popularity is big. They dont belong to same tier with bts.
      They cant even outsell twice whose dorm tour earned 4 million usd per night. Bp image is all pr. But their sales r even less than twice albums

      • I am no Kpop fan but I have watched both BP and BTS on US tv and the difference is like night and day. You can see the sheer hard work and power of BTS in their performances. I am surprised BP is even popular. Nothing against them …very pretty and seems like nice girls ( I found Rose so down to earth and she did most of the talking) but their performance was very amateurish and made BTS look so PRO.
        I am all for Asian representation in the US pop culture…we don’t have enough of it.
        Asians are seen as geeks and nerds when some of the best voices, actors in the world are Asians…

      • @jana i am asian too and would love to see asian representation expect solving maths all the time. Sick of it
        Bp is very cold n arrogant if u watch award shows. Bts will cheer rookie groups, never show their senior card , also cheer for top groups like twice but bp show so much arrogance towards every group and even bts are not very warm towards them and they are very limited talent wise. Mamamoo bts cheer for them n look at talent skills. No wonder hwasa has became it girl in korea bcoz she has talent n down to earth. Bp has lost a lot of hype compared to last 2 years and with lack of music it is not great road ahead nor they are passionate. They are models these days lmao

      • I’m not a kpop fan but yeah, BTS as performers are really good. Black Pink looks like they’re popular overseas and on ig but they barely release music, which is silly considering they are singers. They’re pretty and some are good performers but they’re all hype and nothing to back it. At least BTS has the album sales and decent chart positions.

  2. This is yet another indicator that hallyu is truly gone because apart from bts and blackpink all these are names from almost a decade ago.

    • Kdramas r still watched overseas but u wont see new my sassy girl, jewel in palace, autumn in my heart , boys over flowers again. These actors actresses peaked at golden time of hallyu. Now its k pop. But frankly it is BTS wave. I really dont see k pop dominating or going mainstream. BTS peaked at right time. With right mix of talent visuals and unique. Blackpink performances were mocked in usa.

      • If any of these dramas had aired in recent times they would never have been popular. They were lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

  3. Haha karma is real. Some people ssid he is less popular than their faves here! Despite least active, his popularity remains insane. You can hate him and whatever,Lee min ho boys over flowers will always be best decision of his life. Bae yong joon had retired from industry in 2007 and he took the hallyu king position from him and never lost his popularity despite being in army. I mean i follow his threads where they showed by august september, he had already signed over 7.5 million worth endrosements after army. He gets paid more because he gets selected for overseas cfs of domestic as well as overseas brands.Many it boys came n go but consistency is what that matters. For eg current it boy psj is face of one brand with an another actress but for overseas market they signed lmh now bcoz they want to promote it outside korea. And after king broadcasts, the number will be touching sky . Cant wait for his drama and start another decade on roll. New gen of actors wont have same golden opportunity to break overseas market . Well bts should be number one imo.
    Btw where is woozie? Her fan claiming to be biggest thing outside korea. She is just lmh ex overseas lmaooo

  4. I am sad for ksh. My love from the star made him such a huge star. But why couldn’t he maintain his popularity like lmh and sjk?. I feel hyun bin will make this list in 2020 considering cloy success overseas. Pbg is local star proven over n over. Gong yoo was ranked last year but not this year? Jjh has also lost quite a lot of popularity bcoz of long hiatus like lee young ae who was once most popular korean star when jewel in palace was everywhere with pan asian endorsements n popularity. She needs to make a strong comeback. Song hye kyo appeal is just out of this world

    • KSH mostly tanked his career with Real and PBG was never popular outside of korea. I’m surprised HB and SYJ didn’t make this list but CLOY isn’t as popular as MLFAS, DOTS and Goblin. Recently kdrama have not had much appeal internationally despite pulling in ratings locally.

      • Cloy success affect will be seen in 2020s imo. And yeah kdramas r popular but not like before. Though cloy is quite big. But yeah not new mlfts or dots.

      • @Buttercup

        PBG was never popular in Korea.??? That’s a big joke!??? Okay admittedly PBG is not included in this poll because poll isnt only good publicities but as well as bad publicities. But, PBG included to the names mentioned like Lee Min Ho, Song Joong Ki, Kim So Hyun. And if you would only analyze he is the youngest among these actors. He is just 28 today in international age. Way younger than these “popular actors”

        Okay, he isnt popular overseas ,thats your predicament, thats why he could just tour around Asia with at least 3k plus to 10k plus average total of fans attending his Fan Meet tours. Okay he isnt popular. I rest my case.

  5. Being bts fan is such an emotional journey. All these years they were mocked from big 3 companies, not given awards , unfair treatement and look today. Where they are now. How variety shows used to mock them. How variety show host called jungkook burgers leftover and gave him back when he specially brought for them. It will make u cry if u watch. That makes me so sad. And today they can’t afford them. And can beg all they want. They are not coming to these shows who once treated them unfairly. Whereas sm yg jyp groups were served everything on platter. Bts had to earn it . They dont even attend awards anymore forgetting bts sit there and clapped. This is level of fame . Salty rivals and their underdog story.

  6. Its amazing how song hye kyo’s popularity thrives even after a low point in her life. It just goes to show that netizens who criticized and threw shades at her are just noisy keyboard warriors and does not reflect the true sentiment of the rest of the public. She is still viewed as a representative of hallyu (or at least in 16 countries surveyed).

    I guess normal people saw the classy way she handled her private matter amidst the misogynistic remarks and unfair treatment she suffered.

    • U have to give it to longevity of hers. Faced divorce but still kept her brands in conservative society. Was offered hyena. Never got short of work. Owns a lot of real estate around 50 million usd which means great salary for brands. Her track record in dramas in best for any actress this century( jun ji hyun and son ye jin are movie stars first ). She will make a strong comeback i hope.

  7. If this is a Hallyu survey then it really shows Hallyu is basically gone for kdramas, all the actor names are people who were at their peak a decade ago/in the early 10s. Even the kpop names besides BTS and Black Pink are old acts – Rain? Girls Generation? They’re barely active as singers now.

    Also, er, Park Geun Hye? Isn’t she in jail now ?

    • New kdrama actors are at disadvantage? Dont u think? Lucky those who peaked at right time n grabbed those endorsements at hallyu peak i guess. Although there is enough money in korea if u get some cfs n still earn good, but with peak of hallyu these celebs earned a lot outside korea and has build a name overseas which is not possible today for new gen.. New gen will find it tough unless a top star grab 4 or 5 cfs in country like ksh ( actress ) who has good amount of cfs..but young celebs has to start doing it now Bcoz even senior actresses like jjh or shk ( known for being selective ) endorse over 10 brands after all these years. Yoona had 9 deals this years. Iu has good amount too. Mid to late 80s gen to pbg is ruling endorsement scenes. Only idol actor who has good amount of cfs is eunwoo ( well he is made for modeling with such perfect face but his price must be very cheap compared to seniors) who shot double digit cfs this year. Evn for idols u have to be bts followed by exo or bp or twice level to have some big cf deals

      • That’s the point senior actors from the golden age of hallyu haven’t even come close to retirement and are strongly holding on to their position. They are still the most favorable for endorsements and movies and dramas are being written for them. There isn’t much scope for younger actors because the OG hallyu generation is far from being replaced. People are still heavily obsessed with them and most of them aren’t even married.

    • The hallyu wave is gone. It’s been gone for a few years actually. Like someone said the current wave is just BTS and once they enlist that wave will be gone too. America does not have an appetite for non english music, dramas or movies. They’re just giving into the fad for now but they don’t actually care for it. They even destroy their own home grown superstars such as Britney Spears.

      • Beg to differ. Right now, the cool thing in USA and Europe is cultural diversity. Korean cinema will be the next representative for Hallyu. In Malaysia, they build a theme park based on Train To Busan in Genting Highlands, a popular tourist spot. Parasite Korean movie won Palm D-Or at Cannes Film Festival 2019. Metacritic gives them 96 out of 100 indicating universal acclaim and approval rating. Hollywood gave them SAG and Golden Globe awards, standing ovations and now Oscar nomination for Best Picture besides Best International Film. Charlize Theron taking selfies with Park So Dam. Netflix even created Swoonies segments in Youtube to promote K-dramas like Chocolate and CLOY. The lists go on. This is not “giving in” or a “fad.” Hallyu will not depend on USA alone but the whole world is waking up to K-dramas like Middle East and South America.

      • I can promise you this is just a fad and I’ve seen this trend for many different cultures before. French cinema was extremely popular at one time, Indian actors in Hollywood was a big thing and currently its Kpop and Parasite is an exception for movies basically another Gagnam Style. There are plenty of people who believe Parasite doesn’t deserve any of the hype or awards. Even today USA and most western and south asian countries consider anything not in English to be inferior culture and corona virus bought the racism back. Thailand and middle east are considered inferior culture and is not widely respected nothing in the south east asian countries has mass appeal. A lot of Europeans don’t even know Phuket exists. In my country people still make fun of anyone with Mongloid features and BTS is known by a very very tiny number of people and is mostly not respected and certainly never will be mainstream. People made fun of Train to Busan as well especially in USA and they laugh at Kingdom calling it a historical version of Train to Busan. Don’t accept the words of cultural critics the mass population does not give a damn about SK culture at all. Go online and you’ll see people still ask north or south when someone says ‘I’m from Korea’. People still think BTS are just pretty boys in makeup and do not meet the beauty standards of 90% of the population. This is the reality of the so called diversity you think is being propogated. The general public does not care about SK culture or any culture that is not in English. The most popular shows on Netflix in their worldwide list are all English language shows and movies and this will always be the case.

      • Your reply to my comment tellingly reveals what kind of a person you really are. Stick to the topic and be respectful of others. You don’t have to bring up corona virus, labelling Middle Eastern and Thai cultures as inferior and your people making fun of Asian facial features. So racist.

      • The fact that so many English speaking fans young and old flock to this blog to discuss K-ent of dramas, movies and idols show English speaking people love SK culture. I am from New Zealand yet I love SK culture. I can spend months and years not watching English speaking dramas from USA yet I live my life richly thanks to K-dramas. Lol.

      • BTW, I have been watching K-dramas for 20 years. I look forward to another 20 years of K-dramas! Long live K-dramas! Thank God, K-dramas have the longest fad and hype, still going strong at 20. Happy 20th anniversary Hallyu!

      • Golith must be a bitter old cat-lady to compare Parasite to Gangnam Style. She must be dumped by her BF for an Asian girl. That’s why she’s here to spew anti-Asian sentiments. Lol. Go back to your red neck American cave. Nobody cares about Britney anymore.

      • The list only proves that Hallyu is dead. Why are people trying to pretend it isn’t? What 20 year old made this list? None whatsoever. Besides ever since China rejected it kdramas lost the biggest market in the world. Currently Japan is in the outs with South Korea. The only 2 Asian countries that actually consumed kdramas are no longer consuming it so obviously the market is dead.

      • Yeah right Navi. Soompi just reported that Parasite became first Korean film in 15 years to reach 1 million admissions in Japan. The last time a Korean film made 1 million admissions in Japan was 2005 for April Snow starring Son Ye Jin and Bae Yong Joon. Parasite earned 1.4 billion yen at the Japanese box office. If K-dramas die then K-movies live in Japan. Talk about Negative Nancy Navi.

      • Parasite just won 4 Oscars. First ever Korean movie to win 4 awards -Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film. Whether or not Parasite deserves Oscars is another matter. The publicity alone would launch a New Hallyu Wave for Korean cinematic films. Even though I am not Korean, I have never been prouder of K-films right now. Fighting. Trolls/haters be damned.

  8. Suprised! I dont see Twice in there. Didnt Twice make more money than black pink? From their concert, song, album, etc. I guess popularity not that matter anymore, Its just about fanbase now. How could SNSD and Super junior still on the list? Lol
    In K-drama Its actually just the same name :LMH, SHK, SJK, Rain, PSH. Its a pity tho, This list absolutely not give any impact to rain’s movie, I wondering about SJK and PSH’s movie. Will check it when both movies realese
    Is there’s no Hollywood version of this? Just want to know who is more popular Brad Pitt or Leonardo diCaprio

  9. Song Hye Kyo always no matter what. She will always be the face of South Korea entertainment and glad to see Rain on the list.

  10. Any korean can tell me likes of song hye kyo have same level of cfs like movie star jjh. I mean in my country drama stars dont get same opportunities but i see korean industry is different. I mean even top stars drama budget surapsses movies budget lol

  11. LMH’s popularity in China is insane, especially if you consider he honestly only play one type of character in almost of all his dramas. At least Kim Soohyun is a great actor with diverse filmography but LMH is truly definition of luck. Sometimes I wonder if back then Jang Geunsuk didn’t reject Goo Joonpyo’s role, would he become as popular as LMH’s today? Imo LMH is more good looking, not to mention he’s taller too.

    • He didnt play same character in faith (great acting). He didnt play same character in any of his movie. So nope. He is diverse. Just her same character type projects overshadow them
      Noone couldve played gunpyo role better than him. I dont see ksh justifying it. He has the star quality

  12. a nation pride and also.doing great Charity work very well deserve for top position people’s love him he is humble and kind

    • He is. Like bts , there were rumors going around for his army exemption. Bcoz of his popularity and its effect for korean industry.

  13. BTS members are realy talented. They deserve to be on the top. There performances realy show there hard work. That is why people are mad for them from all over the world.

    • Westerners were used to non talented boy groups and never saw boygroups of asia and their performamce skills. Western artist look so awe bcoz bts blow them out of water.

  14. Song Hye Kyo is the only face when comes to Korean entertainment. Everyone here in the state only mentioned her. Other famous K-celebrities are known too but just for a come and go. People will forget about them after awhile. Song Hye Kyo continues to thrive. While BTS make it very far and is nationwide now. Support Kyo and BTS from the state.

  15. I wonder if BTS start acting in drama. Could be the hallyu wave will revive again? Seeing their popularity that never dying in western country.

  16. Parasite will be on the cover of the Time magazine soon. 4 Oscars in one night woop, woop. I want to cry out of sheer pride and joy. The best weapon for all the critics.

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