BTS holds free concert to support South Korea’s bid to host World Expo

SEOUL, Oct 15 (Reuters) – K-pop boy band BTS reunited for a concert in Busan on Saturday to support South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in the southern port city.

The free concert entitled “BTS in BUSAN” drew an audience of around 52,000 people to a stadium, according to the Yonhap news agency.

A total of 100,000 visitors were expected to visit the stadium and other areas, according to Busan city authorities, with some fans watching the event live on large screens set up at several locations in Busan.

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The concert followed the seven-piece band’s announcement in June that they were stepping back from the group’s musical activities to pursue solo projects, raising questions about the band’s future.

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With BTS’ oldest member Jin, who turns 30 next year, facing compulsory military service in South Korea, the country’s defense minister said in August that BTS may still be able to perform overseas while doing his military service. Continue reading

Under a 2019 law revision, globally recognized K-pop stars were allowed to defer their service until the age of 30. Military service is highly controversial in South Korea, where all able-bodied males between the ages of 18 and 28 must perform their defense attempts against nuclear-armed North Korea.

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“If the seven BTS members feel the same way and you believe in us, we will overcome anything that will happen to us in the future and we will perform and make music with you. Please have faith in us,” BTS boss RM told fans during the concert, without elaborating.

Four countries, including South Korea, Italy, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, have submitted competing bids to organize the 2030 World Expo, according to the expo’s organizing body, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). The host country of the World Expo 2030 is expected to be chosen next year.

In July, K-pop sensation BTS was named the official ambassador for the 2030 World Expo in Busan, over 300 km (190 miles) southeast of the capital Seoul.

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BTS debuted in June 2013 and became a worldwide sensation with its upbeat hits and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

Last year, BTS became the first Asian band to win Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards. The group met with US President Joe Biden at the White House in May to discuss hate crimes against Asians.

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Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Michael Perry, William Maclean

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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