K-pop is having a major moment right now thanks to the power of bands like EXO, BIGBANG and BTS.
But it’s no surprise that the genre is growing in worldwide popularity when it has support from its government.
It turns out that the South Korean government has dedicated a department solely to K-pop to promote the music in Korea and beyond.
That’s like Theresa May deciding that an MP should be focused on Little Mix. (Which, actually, we’d be down with.)
In the BBC documentary K-pop: Korea’s Secret Weapon?, presenter Adele Roberts spoke to Kim Gwang-soo, Director of Tourism at Gangnam District Office, who explained why the Ministry of Culture dedicated a team to K-pop.
He said: ‘Korean Wave including K-pop has been gaining a lot of international attention and it’s culturally beneficial to the national interests, so the state provide full support.’
The official also explained how he thinks K-pop has benefited the economy and country, saying: ‘I personally think that K-pop concerts have considerably contributed to making our unique tradition known to the world.
‘Even if we only hold a small-scale concert, the economic effect derived from it is quite substantial. We can creates new jobs from it, tourists spend a lot of money, and we can raise awareness of our country.’
K-pop is even used as a tactic at the border between North and South Korea, with the South Koreans often blasting K-pop music like BTS into North Korea over tannoys.
Elsewhere in the documentary, BTS explained that they often rehearse for up to 15 hours a day, while Adele spoke to a Scottish fan of the band who moved to Seoul for them.
K-pop: Korea’s Secret Weapon? is available on BBC iPlayer.
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