UNITED STATES: K-pop sensation BTS has been granted diplomatic passports ahead of the United Nations General assembly (UNGA). The seven-member South Korean boy band is all set to embark on their new roles as presidential special envoys. BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band that was formed in 2010.
BTS has attained global superstardom in a very short period. Their single ‘Dynamite’ entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number one last year. BTS is the first South Korean band to top the US chart. They are credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy. Last year their label HYBE made a high-profile stock market debut.
Seoul is looking to capitalize on the soft power that BTS represents with President Moon Jae-in appointing them as his special envoys for future generations and culture.
“It is a great honor to receive this title,” BTS leader RM said at a Blue House ceremony Tuesday to present them with their red-covered diplomatic passports. Ordinarily, normal South Korean passports are green in color. While on official business, they will enjoy privileges such as diplomatic immunity and exemption from airport inspections.
As special envoys, the group will be delivering a speech during the Sustainable Development Goals Moment on Monday.
RM previously delivered an English-language speech on self-empowerment entitled “Speak Yourself” to the UNGA in 2018.
There were positive responses to BTS’ new role, noting their impact on the South’s international standing.
“Thanks to BTS, the national image of South Korea has been greatly enhanced,” said a commentator on Daum, the South’s second-largest web portal.
“They have done more work than hundreds of diplomats combined.”