The Academy of Korean Studies, which has been providing the support to VANK, said it has become difficult to support civilian groups since the total budget this year for efforts to publicize Korea abroad has been whittled down by 30 percent to W890 million next year, from W1.28 billion this year.
There are opinion pieces on this in both the Chosun Ilbo and the Korea Times today. There's also a write-up in the Donga Ilbo, and though sympathetic it contradicts the information from the Chosun Ilbo article. VANK's priorities are to quote-unquote rectify distorted Korean history and culture as presented in foreign countries, and its two favorite topics are the Liancourt Rocks and the Sea of Japan.
Not that they care, but they often incur the ridicule of foreign bloggers here because of their tactics and their rhetoric: they bombard organizations and individuals with form emails until some finally relent, and they employ the thesis "______ needs to change because Japan was bad." They seek to change the accepted English-language geographical names of places for no other reason than they believe Japapn did some bad things once. They also firmly believe, for instance, that Japan is lobbying agencies like the CIA and the US Library of Congress in order to have its interests reflected in maps and literature. People tend to get annoyed with the "I'm right because I'm loud" line of attack, especially when foreigners see this directed at other foreigners and foreign countries. Of course that's in practice all over the world, but I'll remind you of the topic of this blog, and will refrain from posting 20 entries on the US Election a week, if it pleases the readership.
I've written a little on VANK here, here, and here.