Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

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Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism,
Republic of Korea
Munhwa Cheyuk Gwangwang-bu
Emblem of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (English).svg
Agency overview
Formed February 29, 2008[1]
Preceding agencies
Jurisdiction Government of South Korea
Headquarters Sejong City, South Korea
Ministers responsible
  • Do Jong-hwan, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism
  • Na Jong-min, 1st Vice Minister
  • Noh Tae-kang, 2nd Vice Minister
Child agency
Website Official English Site
Headquarters in Sejong City
The former ministry building
Emblem of South Korea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Korea

South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) is a central government agency responsible for the areas of tourism, culture, art, religion, and sports. It has two vice ministers, three assistant ministers, one commission, and over 60 divisions.

Subsidiary entities such as the National Museum, the National Theater, and the National Library are under the Ministry.

The headquarters are located in the Sejong Government Complex in Sejong City,[2] the headquarters was previously in Jongno District, Seoul.[3]


The main goals of the MCST are:

  • To educate Korean people to be cultured and creative citizens
  • To create a society in which leisure and work are in harmony
  • To create a dynamic nation in which various local cultures are represented
  • To enhance public awareness of the national agenda (e.g. green growth) through public relations activities
  • To improve quality of life for citizens by supporting cultural events and activities, sports, tourism, and religious activities


The Ministry of Culture and Tourism was originally a suborganization of the Ministry of Education created in 1948. Later, the Ministry of Transportation set up a tourism department, the Ministry of Information was set up in 1961 for administration of art and cultural affairs. The Ministry of Culture and Information became the Ministry of Culture in 1990.

In 1993, the Ministry of Culture was integrated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to become the Ministry of Culture and Sports; in 1998, as part of government reorganization efforts, the Ministry of Culture and Sports was replaced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It was created to invest in and support the entertainment industry, as Korea needed new areas of growth in the wake of the Asian financial crisis in the 1990s.

President Kim Dae Jung put forth industrial policies supporting entertainment with the same regard as traditional industrial sectors such as manufacturing. Investments were made in both infrastructure and technology to support K-Pop, including concert halls and visual effects technology; in addition, government regulation of karaoke bars favored K-Pop.[4]

In more recent years, there has been a focus on developing soft power; the Ministry believes that by promoting Korean culture abroad, exports of other goods and services will also increase. As part of those efforts to move beyond developing a domestic industry and toward international success, the Ministry established an advisory committee and announced an international training school; in recent years, direct financial support has increased. In 2013, the Ministry allocated 319 billion won (280 million USD) for direct support of Hallyu (Korean Wave). Cultural exports have been increasing at a rate of 10 percent yearly as a result of these efforts.[5]


Korean Culture and Information Service[edit]

The Korean Culture and Information Service is a department of the MCST that aims to bring Korean culture closer to the rest of the world while improving the national image of Korea. It is also responsible for setting up more than 20 Korean Cultural Centers around the world.[9]


Despite the large amounts of money the government provides for Hallyu, the K-Pop industry, the most internationally well-known part of Hallyu has criticized the Ministry's efforts. Many industries such as fashion and food have lobbied the government for inclusion in the Hallyu budget, and politicians and the bureaucracy also have varying interests in how the budget is distributed, these factors have fractured the budget for K-Pop. In addition, these efforts have not alleviated the regulatory red tape for the industry, the process of renting concert venues from local governments in particular has been a point of contention.[10]


  1. ^ ROK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism website: History of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ "Location." Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "Government Complex-Sejong, 388, Galmae-ro, Sejong-si 339-012, Republic of Korea"
  3. ^ "Location." Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. April 23, 2012. Retrieved on January 1, 2014. "Address: 215 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-360 Korea"
  4. ^ "How the South Korean Government Made K-Pop a Thing". NPR. 2015. 
  5. ^ "How Korean Bureaucrats Turned K-Pop into a National Symbol". PRI. 2013. 
  6. ^ "Minister profile". ROK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. 
  7. ^ "Park's trusted confident named new culture minister". Yonhap News Agency. 16 August 2016. Archived from the original on 21 January 2017. 
  8. ^ "Minister profile". ROK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 2015. Archived from the original on 21 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "Greetings from the Director". Korean Culture and Information Service. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "K-Pop in Korea: How the Pop Music Industry is Changing a Post-Developmental Society" (PDF). Cross Currents. 2013. 

External links[edit]