“Every choice we make is the beginning of change, not the end,” said RM, the band’s leader.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in introduced the pop stars as special presidential envoys and an “exceptionally outstanding group of young men who are connecting with the youth across the world.”
The artists, dressed in dark suits, took turns speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their fans. They talked about disappointment but also hope, showing photos fans had sent them.
“In these pictures, you can see there are kids that are trying to learn new things... . They are not lost, they are finding new courage and taking on new challenges,” Jin said.
The group also unveiled a new music video for its hit single “Permission to Dance,” which was filmed at U.N. Headquarters. They sang, “Don’t need to talk the talk, just walk the walk,” while dancing their way from the General Assembly hall to the garden overlooking the East River.
Since its debut in 2013, BTS has received global recognition for its music and activism, which also includes publicly calling out anti-Asian racism. The band has had four songs reach Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has won six Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Monday’s speech marked the group’s second appearance at the United Nations. The band took part in an event in 2018, when RM spoke about its work with the U.N. Children’s Fund.
— Associated Press and staff reports