Koreans were shocked by the images that were broadcast without warning. "I hadn't thought about it before now, but this really brings home the brutality and horror of the war in Libya" said 26 year-old Kim, who works for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul. Others expressed concern that if other Korean cars were destroyed, it might leave the people of Libya without enough reliable Korean cars to travel between battles.
In recent years Korean cars have proven popular in Libya as Korean culture and auto-parts have swept the world as part of the Korean Wave. Earlier this month, cars made by Hyundai and Kia were rated as the best low-cost ownership models in Australia, and record sales have been reported in China, where slightly inferior copies of the Kia Cerato are also made. Sales have also surged in France, where ads for the Kia Sportage recently won the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Silver and Bronze Lion awards. The ads were criticized for using sexual imagery and small children alongside each other, which while likely to raise sales Korea and France, is apparently less of a commercial positive in other countries. Kia have since denied they commissioned the ad campaign.
The Korean government have asked for a ceasefire so that Korean cars can be safely evacuated from conflict zones, but neither pro-Gadhafi or rebel forces have so far responded.
Hyundai, Kia models named best low-cost cars to own in Australia
Hyundai, Kia record surge in China sales
S. Korean Automakers See Strong Sales in France
Fake Kia ad stripped of Cannes award
Kia wins German design awards
Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war
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