Northeast Asia Peace Festival 2018
Over the weekend, Harbin, in northeastern China... hosted the 2018 Northeast Asia Peace Festival.
This year the highlight was a competition for amateur models from four different countries.
According to the organizers it was more than just a cultural exchange.
Hong Yoo takes us to the renowned 'Ice City'.
Thousands of people have gathered in Harbin to watch a contest for models from four countries -- South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia.
With pose after pose, they showed off their individual beauty as representatives of their countries.
From July 27th to 30th, the Northeast Asia Economic Cooperation Committee held the 2018 Northeast Asia Peace Festival.
By displaying their countries' traditional clothes, the models were part of an international cultural exchange, and a big one.
As a whole, the festival attracted around 300,000 visitors.
"I'm not looking for a special prize out of this competition. I'm happy just to have participated in it and made new friends."
"To be honest, the language barrier made it hard to communicate with the other models, but the fact that we all have the same goal helped us bond quickly."
The festival was about more than the model contest. It also opened up the doors to South Korean mid-size companies to expand their business to China.
A special booth was set up for them to let people know what they're doing.
This time there were two South Korean companies taking part.
One of them was a cosmetics brand,... riding the wave of Korean beauty products that've become famous all over the world.
"The cosmetics market in South Korea is pretty limited, so we wanted to expand our business to the global market. And through this festival we were able to do that by introducing our products to many people here."
The South Korean committee that helped organize the event thinks its cultural exchanges will help provide job opportunities to young people and help export Korean goods to China.
"It's usually hard for Korean brands to get a spot in a Chinese department store, and when they do, they don't tend to last long. So we are helping South Korean enterprises to get their products into the stores here."
The committee chairman added that North Korea also wants to be part of the Northeast Asia Economic Cooperation Committee, and the process is underway. He commented that the North's participation would allow South Korean enterprises to expand their business in Asia, using the easier land route.
This festival, which aims at boosting South Korea and China’s cooperation in culture, economics and other fields, will next take place in Seoul in 2019. And hopefully, the participation of North Korea next year will further strengthen regional ties.