By Xu Aiying and Lee Jihae
The trade balance of Korean cultural content led by K-pop continues to show a surplus.
The Bank of Korea on Sept. 2 said the trade surplus for audio and video-related services reached USD 18.4 million in June for the ninth consecutive month of surplus since October last year.
The trade balance for such services equals the revenue from the sales of Korean pop albums, movies and TV programs minus the money paid overseas.
Korea in the past suffered an overall deficit or earned a small surplus in this field, but after the global boom in Hallyu, the country since October 2014 has seen a surplus for 59 consecutive months in the sector. The surplus in September last year was zero in ending about five years of finishing in the black, but a month later, it started to achieve a surplus again.
K-pop superstars such as BTS and BLACKPINK apparently contributed to the continued trade surplus in cultural content.
Including for duplication or distribution of artworks, the trade balance for copyrights to cultural and artistic content also improved. Last year's trade deficit for such copyrights was USD 180 million, the lowest in the country's history.