BTS under fire from Chinese fans over 'humiliating' Korean War comments

Rap Monster et al. posing for

South Korean boyband BTS is facing a barrage of criticism in China after its leader made remarks about the Korean War, and several big-name brands, including Samsung, have apparently distanced themselves from the K-pop group amid the uproar.

RM's comments came as BTS received an award celebrating relations between the United States and South Korea. The Van Fleet Award, named after the renowned American general who founded the Korea Society, goes annually "to one or more distinguished Koreans or Americans in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the promotion of U.S. -Korea relations", according to the organization.

"We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women", he said. "Boundaries in many aspects are getting more blurred", RM said. "As members of the global community, we should build a deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together", he concluded. While some of them took to social media to defend the group, saying RM didn't specifically mention China, many others didn't appreciate the comments, the BBC reports.

"Before, I thought some BTS songs were pretty good". "Insulting China is absolutely not allowed".

Many have said that BTS should not be profiting off China if they hold such a point of view on the war.

According to the Global Times, under the Chinese Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper, the speech enraged Chinese online users because it reflects a "one-sided attitude".

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The attacks reflect Beijing's assertiveness overseas and enduring Chinese sensitivity about the Korean Peninsula.

In 2017, Beijing destroyed South Korean retailer Lotte's business in China after the company sold land to South Korea's government to install an anti-missile system opposed by Chinese leaders.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), also known as the Korean War, with a great number of Chinese people commemorating those who sacrificed their lives during the war.

Users on popular Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com on Sunday found that BTS-edition smartphone and earphones disappeared from Samsung's official store on the e-commerce platform. The band's fan base, known as "BTS Army", are responsible for generating billions of dollars between consuming music, concerts, and band merchandise. Coming to the defence of BTS over the China controversy was Military Manpower Administration Commissioner Mo Jong-hwa who stated, "The fact that BTS mentioned Korea's alliance with the United States is an encouraging thing".

As of press time, the band's management company, Big Hit Entertainment, did not immediately respond.

Hong Kong's most prominent dissident, Joshua Wong, weighed in, criticising Beijing for "provoking groundless rage and division".

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