Korea-country-of-BTS
K-pop megastar BTS/Courtesy of BigHit Entertainment

Most foreigners want to meet the boy band most

In the past, Korea was mostly about Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor. The former is the world’s largest maker of memory chips and smartphones while the latter is the country’s foremost automaker.

Now Korea seems to be more about K-pop, especially boy band BTS that wins the hearts and minds of fans across the world.

The Corea (not a typo) Image Communication Institute (CICI) recently disclosed its survey on 265 foreigners who experienced the Korean culture.

Asked who they want to meet most, up to 65.3 percent picked BTS while 19.6 percent opted for Son Heung-min, a prolific forward for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. He also captains the national team.

BTS is a seven-piece idol group, which debuted in 2013. It is now on a globe-trotting concert tour as a follow-up to its latest studio album “Map of the Soul: Persona.”

Last week, the group played two sold-out concerts at London’s Wembley Stadium for the first time among K-pop acts. Its rising popularity prompts some observers to compare it to The Beatles.

BTS will continue its “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour by performing in Paris this week before heading toward Japan.

Regarding the question on the most outstanding “creator” of the nation, 40 percent of the respondents named Bang Si-hyuk.

Bang, who founded BigHit Entertainment in 2015, formed BTS and made the K-pop band a genuine global superstar.

Came in at second was Paik Nam-june, who got 26.8 percent. He is a Korean American artist who is considered to be the founder of video art.

The CICI is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting Korea’s image abroad by honoring cultural figures or organizations every year that helped to build a positive image of Korea.

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