BTS at the US Billboard Music Awards 2018 | Source: BTS Official Twitter @bts_bighit

 

This is what I woke up to this morning. This is what much of the world woke up to, at least over here in the western hemisphere. Can you believe my shock and elation at seeing the PRESIDENT of South Korea acknowledging BTS’ success in the US music industry (known as the largest and most difficult to “crack”). It was announced yesterday that BTS had earned the Number 1 album in the United States, taking the Number 1 spot on the US Billboard 200. Just to put this into perspective, they are the first ever Korean artists to do so and the first in 12 years to top the chart with a non-English album! When I heard the news I teared up because its such a beautiful thing!

I’ve written before about how people’s love for K-pop can be a political phenomenon. This is just another aspect of the political relationship between the music industry and the government in South Korea. As someone who studied Government and Politics at university, I am consistently fascinated by said relationship; it is the only such relationship I’ve seen.

South Korea, as a small nation without much influence in the international community, has been able to secure a major role in the East Asian region. This is thanks to its expansion of soft power because of the Hallyu Wave. Korea has been able to export its culture, traditions, food, etc., and gain a favorable reputation with the citizens of other countries around the world. This is just one example of how well South Korea has been able to capitalize on this export. While this is a huge positive for the nation, it is one for the global community as well. Thanks to technology, people around the world can learn about each other easily. South Korea’s exportation of its rich culture can be influential on the opinions and perspectives of people around the world

Source: BTS Official Twitter @bts_bighit

BTS has been exploding in international popularity since their early days, but they are now breaking records everywhere. They’re successful not just in the US, but in other nations like the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Italy. President Moon’s statement demonstrates his knowledge of the political impact this can have in favor of the small nation. Can you imagine how important their success can be for their home nation? I am left with many questions about the way things will go moving forward.

While this achievement may not obviously impact international affairs, it’s possible that President Moon will notice that the people of the US view South Korea, its citizens, and artists favorably. Could he use it to further Korea’s ambivalent relationships with the US? Who knows, but it’s an opportunity he could capitalize on if he wanted to. Do you think he will?

I’m excited to keep up with the political happenings between the nations and if we will see anything come of this! Are you in support of these new developments? Let’s hope for the best together!

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