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BTS' U.N. speech gets 12 million views - soft power triumphs Updated: 2021-09-23 17:17:48 KST

Perhaps the biggest outcome at this year's U.N. General Assembly meeting is the publicity the U.N. received thanks to BTS, the K-pop idol boy band, who took the stage. BTS made a seven-minute speech at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Monday, as special presidential envoy for future generations and culture - an official role given to them by President Moon Jae-in before the departure.
The U.N.'s official YouTube channel flooded with viewers during the live broadcast - not to watch a head of state, but the K-pop star BTS.

We'll talk more about the influence of soft power in making greater change, with our culture critic Youngdae Kim in the studio. Great to have you with us.

The UN uploaded a video of BTS performing Permission to Dance at the UN headquarters and this has accumulated 12.9 million views as of Wednesday, and the UN SDG Moment's morning session during which BTS appeared, recorded 6.5 million views, which is 30 times greater than the (near 200,000) views from the afternoon session. We can guess that BTS fans are driving these numbers, but how significant are these numbers for the UN? How effective do you think BTS is in addressing UN's works?

What was the most important message that BTS sent out to the world during their UN speech on Monday? What would you say is the key takeaway, especially for the younger generation?

This is not the first time that BTS visited the U.N. to make a speech. In 2018, they spoke about their work with UNICEF to promote Generation Unlimited, a campaign dedicated to educating young people and providing them vocational training. What was different this time from their appearance three years ago? How would you compare?

As presidential envoys for public diplomacy, each of the seven members touched upon topics from climate change to digital interconnectedness, vaccine promotion to young people's resilience and the power to change the future. How powerful do you think is the role of pop stars in addressing important global issues such as the Sustainable Development Goals? What have been some prime examples in the past (of effective speeches made by celebrities)?

Thanks always for your insights. That was culture critic Youngdae Kim in the studio.
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