South Korea is considering changing its official tourism slogan "Korea, Sparkling" because it sounds too much like a fizzy drink brand, according to the man in charge of promoting the country's's image overseas.
The other national slogan "Dynamic Korea" can also give a negative image of violent demonstrations, Thursday's newspapers quoted presidential adviser Euh Yoon-Dae as saying.
Euh, who heads the Presidential Council on National Branding, said the tourism association's "Korea, Sparkling" frequently conjures up images of mineral water among foreigners.
"So it should be changed to better describe the nation's image as a strong IT country," Euh said in a lecture Wednesday to parliamentarians, adding that a foreign firm would be asked to research a new tourism slogan.
As an alternative to "Dynamic Korea," Euh suggested "Miraculous Korea" -- a reference to the dramatic growth in earlier decades often termed the "Miracle on the Han."
Euh cited the North Korean nuclear crisis, fractious domestic politics, street demonstrations and "unkindness" as factors behind a negative national image.
"One of the wrong promotional efforts is to take foreigners to the Demilitarised Zone (on the border with the North)," news reports quoted him as saying.
"Once the foreigners return to their home countries, their only memory about South Korea tends to be its confrontation with North Korea."