The study reveals positive assessments of the development of relations between Russia and the Republic of Korea; the prospects for partner relationships are optimistic.
MOSCOW, September 4, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a study carried out in cooperation with the Institute of Russian Studies under Hankuk University of Foreign Studies; the study describes mutual perceptions of Russians and Southern Koreans.
Mass media is an important source of information about another country. Seventy-three percent of Russians (73% in 2016) and 83% Koreans (74% in 2016) cite television and Internet as the most popular media sources. Less than a quarter of Russians and Koreans get to know about the other country from personal experience; from foreign friends (6% of Russians, 3% of Koreans), family, and relatives (9% of Russians, 6% of Koreans).
Values of both Koreans and Russians are quite similar: both nations pay attention to family (37% of Russians, 76% of Koreans), caring for parents (24% of Russians, 44% of Koreans in 2017), traditions (22% of Russians, 48% of Koreans). The mutual interest of Koreans and Russians has increased over the recent year: the share of those who would like to know more about the other country has grown up both among Russians (38%, vs 30% in 2016) and among Koreans (51%, vs 36% in 2016).
Russia and South Korea are culturally attractive to each other: half of Russians (45%) and Koreans (43%) express their interest in the culture of the other nation. Russians take interest in Korean food (36%) and martial arts (24%), whereas Koreans like Russian architecture (32%) and cuisine (27%).
Russia-Korea relations have high development potential. Most of Russians (51%) as well as Koreans (64%) are confident that their countries may become partners. However over the recent year, a negative trend has been observed: the share of those who positively perceive this perspective is decreasing. But despite this, the two countries perceive each other as partners rather than competitors (49% of Russians and 38% of Koreans, respectively).
Cooperation prospects are seen from different angles. Russians think that the emphasis should be made on high technologies (32%), trade (31%), and medicine (31%). South Koreans consider that the two countries might be partners in industry and energy (58%), politics and diplomacy (33%), and military area (22%).
Both Russians and Koreans are focused on tourism; 51% of Russians would like to visit South Korea, and 66% of Koreans would go to Russia; a quarter of Russians (25%, 2017) and 16% of Koreans believe that tourism is one of the major areas of cooperation.
As a year ago, political background is seen as the main obstacle to mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries (35% of Russians and 525 of Koreans). This is followed by negative stereotypes reported by Koreans. However this factor tends to be less important (28%, 36% in 2016). Russians see remoteness as the main obstacle (19%, 16% in 2016).
Signing of a free trade agreement would help establish close economic ties between the two countries: 85% of Russians and 61% of Koreans support this idea.
Positive images of both countries would contribute to building a partnership relationship. ‘South Korea’ has positive associations related to social and economic development.
In the Korean consciousness the image of Russia is closely tied to history (Soviet Union – 10%) rather than the present times or particular characteristics or geographic situation (vodka is mentioned by 4%, Moscow by 4%).
The study was conducted by VCIOM and the Institute of Russian Studies under Hankuk University of Foreign Studies with support of the Hankook Research Company on July 22-29, 2016. The study is based on the CATI and online surveys carried out among Russians and Southern Koreans. The Russian sample involved 1,200 respondents; the Korean sample, 1,000 respondents (the sample error does not exceed 3.5%). The samples are random, stratified by sex, age, education level and type of settlement.
|On what type of information sources are your perceptions of South Korea/Russia based on? (closed-ended question, any number of answers, % of the surveyed Russians, Koreans)|
|TV shows and information from the Internet||73||73||74||83|
|Information from newspapers and magazines||22||23||35||35|
|Movies and books about South Korea/Russia||9||10||20||19|
|School or university courses||12||11||35||28|
|Family, relatives, friends||4||9||3||6|
|Stories of Korean/Russian friends living in S.Korea/Russia||8||6||4||3|
|Impressions after my visit to S.Korea/Russia||2||2||2||2|
|Please, choose three values most typical to …? (closed-ended question, not more than three answers, %)|
|Caring for parents*||0||24||0||44|
|Sense of nation’s superiority||13||8||15||9|
|Respect for authorities||6||8||27||9|
* In 2016, this answer option was not offered
|Which of the following statements best describes your level of knowledge about South Korea/Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|I know a lot about South Korea/Russia||1||3||1||0|
|I do not know too much but I would like to||30||38||36||51|
|I know little and I do not want to know more||68||58||55||45|
|We treat certain nations positively (expressing liking and trust) and others negatively (expressing distrust and dislike). How do you personally perceive South Koreans/Russians? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|Positively; trust and liking||35||37||13||8|
|Negatively; distrust and dislike||6||6||15||18|
|Neutrally; no trust, no dislike||54||49||60||60|
|Generally speaking, would you say that you are interested in Russian/Korean culture? (closed-ended question, one answer, %, 2017)|
|Very much interested||7||3|
|Not really interested||32||37|
|Not at all interested||20||7|
|What aspect of the Korean culture/Russian culture are you most interested in? (closed-ended question, not more than 2 answers, %, 2017)|
|Cinema, TV series||7||3|
|In your opinion, can Russia and South Korea become strategic partners (i.e. have arrangements to enhance long-term bilateral cooperation in key areas)? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|The countries are already partners||13||12||8||10|
|At the moment the countries are not partners but they can become them||53||51||69||64|
|No, the countries cannot be partners||14||16||7||11|
|What kind of economic relationship is there between Russia and South Korea? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|Could you name three main areas of the development of bilateral cooperation? (closed-ended question, not more than three answers, %)|
|Tourism and communication||25||25||26||16|
|Politics and diplomacy||20||19||31||33|
|Science and education||20||22||25||15|
|Military and technical cooperation||18||17||28||22|
|Industry and energy||17||20||60||58|
|Agriculture and food industry||15||13||5||4|
|Have you ever visited South Korea/Russia as a tourist; if not, would you like to visit this country? (closed-ended question, one answer, %)|
|I have been there and I would like to go there again||1||2||3||2|
|I have been there but I would not like to go there again||0||0||1||0|
|I have not been there but I would like to||48||51||68||66|
|I have not been there and I would not like to||49||46||21||29|
|Do you support the idea to sign a free trade agreement between Russia and South Korea? (closed-ended question, % of the surveyed Russians and Koreans, 2017)|
|Could you name two major obstacles that hamper the development of bilateral relations between Russia and Korea? (closed-ended question, not more than two answers, %)|
|Foreign policy problems||31||35||57||52|
|Lack of information about countries||17||16||24||25|
|Lack of knowledge about legislative policies of the other country||8||10||11||5|
|What comes first into your mind, when you hear the words “South Korea”? (open-ended question, not more than five answers, Russians, %)|
|Industrial, technological development||30||30|
|Geographical position, toponymy||11||4|
|Division of Korea, civil war||8||2|
|Appearance of Koreans||5||5|
|Trade relations with Russian Federation||4||3|
|Relations with the U.S.||3||3|
|High living standards||2||2|
|Severe political regime||1||0|
|What comes first into your mind, when you hear the word “Russia”?» (open-ended question, not more than five answers, Koreans, answers given by at least 2% of respondents)|
Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.