How South Korea Uses Psy, VIXX and All of K-Pop to Burnish Its Image

It's part of a government branding initiative that began in 1997

Last month, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena hosted “The M Countdown,” a show featuring top South Korean pop acts like VIXX, BTS, B1A4, Teen Top, IU, G-Dragon, Jung Joon Young, SPICa, CNBlue and Girls Generation. As expected, thousands of fans stood and screamed their heads off. But what most of them probably didn’t know was that they weren’t just watching a stage show, but a crafty bit of international marketing.