BTS BRINGS HOPE OF FURTHER THAW IN CHINA-SOUTH KOREA RELATIONS


26/12/2020




Selin ATAY-TDO-  Four years after South Korea and China had a falling out over the former's stationing of United States missiles ostensibly directed at deterring a North Korean attack, which led to a ban on Korean entertainment, K-pop supergroup BTS' song was played on Beijing radio for the first time this week.

In 2016, citing North Korean threats, South Korea wanted to deploy its missile defense system, called High-Altitude Air Defense, owned by the US military. Reacting to this situation, China banned many components of South Korean culture in its country. On the other hand, recently, there have been positive political and cultural developments between South Korea and China. In November, for instance, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited South Korea and noted the need for stronger ties between the two countries.

These positive developments are interpreted as increasing cultural exports. Metro Radio played the English-language song on Monday. It's the first time since the ban that a BTS track has been played by the station, which broadcasts international music.

Areum Jeong, assistant professor at the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute, stated that the popularity of Hallyu, or Korean wave, cultural content in Chengdu, the city in southwest China where she is based, has continued undimmed despite the frosty relations between the Chinese and South Korean governments. Jeong said that stores regularly run advertisements featuring K-pop stars  and many Chinese students keep up with Korean dramas and variety shows.

"Dynamite playing on the radio does make it seem somewhat hopeful, but whether it can be viewed as an optimistic sign … it is probably too soon to tell," Jeong told reporters.


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