K-pop superstar BTS, left, and economist Lee Hoe-sung/Courtesy of Time Magazine

Two Korean leaders fail to make it

Time Magazine included K-pop superstar BTS and Korean economist Lee Hoe-sung in its top 100 most influential people in the world for 2019.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jung-un, who joined the list last year, failed to make the cut this year.

U.S. musician Halsey penned BTS profile. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter collaborated with the boy band for the latter’s latest mini album “Map of the Soul: Persona” released on April 12.

“How exactly does one accomplish world domination? Surely it takes remarkable talent, charm, kindness, altruism, and dedication. But you’d still be missing a key component: a devoted community to uplift your efforts, soften your stumbles and shoot light from their eyes into the sky in your name every single night,” Halsey said.

“By these parameters, BTS has reached the top. Over the past few years, the K-pop group has taken the music industry by storm – shattering sales records, gathering accolades and performing across the globe for head-spinning audiences – all the while remaining exemplary ambassadors for their Korean culture. But behind those three letters are seven astounding young men who believe that music is stronger than the barriers of language. It’s a universal dialect.”

She also praised positive messages of self-confidence and intricacies of philosophy hidden in BTS songs.

With regard to Lee, current chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he has played a pivotal role in supplying decision-makers and the public with the world’s most authoritative understanding of climate change, according to Time Magazine.

“An academic by training and a preacher by necessity, he is a champion of climate-resilient economic development who laid the groundwork to steer our shared home, the Republic of Korea, into an economy committed to significant carbon reduction to help curb climate change,” former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted.

Also included in the list are U.S. President Donald Trump, former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, singer Taylor Swift, football player Mohamed Salah, and actor Dwayne Johnson.


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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.