"A two-year 'Visit Korea' program is aimed at getting travelers to conjure lava caves and beaches – not Hyundai cars and North Korea nuclear talks – in weighing a visit to South Korea."

The country aims to polish its image to encourage new visitors.

“Visit Korea” is a two-year, government-sponsored promotion currently under way to push another side of the country that many perceive as an emerging industrial behemoth still technically at war with its unpredictable neighbor to the north.

Not necessarily what you might be looking for in a vacation destination.

“Korea’s brand image is not that spectacular,” admits Chung Un-an, a former prime minister. Mr. Chung is leading Jeju Island’s quest to become one of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature” in an international opinion poll in November, organized by a Swiss foundation.

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