EXO’s Lay, other Chinese K-pop idols face backlash for Korean War posts

Published October 26, 2020, 1:17 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Several Chinese K-pop idols are facing severe criticisms in South Korea after they made online posts to celebrate China’s participation in the Korean War, which lasted from 1950-1953.

K-pop boy band EXO member Lay Zhang, f(x)’s Victoria, former Pristin member Kyulkyung (aka Jieqiong) under Pledis Entertainment, and Starship Entertainment’s Cosmic Girls (WJSN) members Cheng Xiao, Meiqi and Xuanyi posted on their Chinese microblogging platform Weibo accounts as China marked the occasion of Chinese troops entering North Korea during the Korean War in what it called the “War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid [North] Korea.”

The Korean War broke out in 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea and it ended in 1953 when an armistice was signed. This resulted in the establishment of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated South and North Korea.

The US, the Philippines and other countries backed South Korea and sent troops under the UN Command while China and the then Soviet Union supported North Korea.

Lay paid tribute to Chinese soldiers who fought for North Korea in the war by posting “we will not forget the heroes.” He wrote this along with the hashtag on the 70th anniversary of Chinese volunteer armies who went to North Korea to resist the US and help North Korea in the Korean War.

“Remember history, cherish peace, salute heroes,” Victoria wrote on Weibo. Korean entertainment agencies have yet to comment on the posts made by their artists.

EXO’s Lay (left) and f(x)’s Victoria (Instagram)

As a result, a petition was filed on the official website of the office of Korean President Moon Jae-in, asking the government to ban the Chinese K-pop idols from promoting in Korea. The petition is under review by the website but as of writing, it has garnered 12,777 signatures.

The Korean War recently became an issue when some Chinese netizens criticized K-pop superstars BTS for paying tribute to US and South Korean soldiers but not Chinese soldiers who helped North Korea in its invasion of the South.

BTS received the Van Fleet Award given by The Korea Society, an American organization dedicated to promoting understanding between the people of the US and South Korea.

“As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, we will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” said BTS’ RM in the group’s video acceptance speech.

This ignited the issue in China which BTS fans and others found to be odd, saying why would RM give tribute to Chinese soldiers who helped in the invasion of his own country.

China’s foreign ministry denied that the Chinese government has blocked the entry of BTS goods to the country.