The Korean Publishers Association has told publishers that current tensions in North Korea should not discourage partnerships with South Korean businesses or attendance to the Seoul Book Fair later this year.
Seung Hyun Moon, director of the International Project Department for the Korean PA, told the Bookseller Daily: “It is a possibility that UK and Western businesses will be put off going to SBF and linking up with Korean companies because of what is going on at the moment. [South Koreans] are used to this ‘theatre’ [from the North], so we are not worried, but most foreigners are not used to it. I want to assure them that all things are in control and I do not think there will be any of this drama in June.”
The Seoul Book Fair was launched in 1995 and will take place between 19th–23rd June.
Hyun Moon spoke at yesterday’s (15th April) London Book Fair, and gave an overview of the Korean publishing market. South Korea is the 2014 LBF Market Focus country.
During the session, delegates heard that Korea printed 39,000 new titles and 87 million books throughout 2012 from its 38,170 publishing companies. Like the UK, publishing executives in Korea were being troubled by an increasing decline in bricks-and-mortar bookshops as a result of an uplift in online shopping. Digital e-books only account for 1%–2% of the South Korean book market currently though, Moon said.