K-pop superstars BTS flew back to South Korea on June 2 after meeting US President Joe Biden at the White House.
BTS’ RM, Jin, Suga, Jungkook, J-Hope and Jimin arrived at Incheon International Airport in the afternoon of June 2 and were met by fans and the media. Member V arrived in the morning reportedly to attend the VIP premiere of his friend, actor Gang Dong-won.
All seven members of BTS visited the White House on May 31 and were welcomed by President Biden.
In the Oval Office, they talked about anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, and the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.
“It’s an honor to meet you, Mr. President,” RM told Biden in a video posted on the Twitter account of the US president.
“Well, welcome to the White House,” Biden told BTS.
During their discussion, Biden told BTS, “This is an important month here in America. A lot of our Asian American friends have been subject to real discrimination.”
“Hate only hides. When good people talk about it and say how bad it is, it goes down. So thank you,” the US President said.
RM said, “We want to say thank you, sincerely, for your decision like such as signing the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. So we just want to be a little help and we truly appreciate the White House and the government’s trying to find solutions.”
“People care a lot about what you say, and what you’re doing is good for all people. It’s not just your great talent, it’s the message you’re communicating. It matters,” said Biden.
In a tweet, Biden said, “It was great to meet with you, @bts_bighit. Thanks for all you’re doing to raise awareness around the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination. I look forward to sharing more of our conversation soon.”
BTS also spoke during the White House press briefing with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The Stop AAPI Hate organization reported that in the US, “From March 19, 2020 to December 31, 2021, a total of 10,905 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons were reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Of the hate incidents reflected in this report, 4,632 occurred in 2020 (42.5%) and 6,273 occurred in 2021 (57.5%).”
By ethnicity, the report stated that “Chinese Americans continue to report the most hate incidents (42.8%) of all ethnic groups, followed by Korean (16.1%), P/Filipinx (8.9%), Japanese (8.2%), and Vietnamese Americans (8.0%).”