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Korean boy band goes viral as role models for youths after UN plea

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(BTS leader Kim Nam-joon aka RM, speaks before the UN general assembly on Monday with fellow band members standing behind him.)

ANGELES CITY – A South Korean boy band that went viral in the internet especially with its plea to young people to help shape the future has also endeared them to thousands of Kapampangan youths.

BTS also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment in 2013 with their hit songs popular among young teenagers (15 to 25 age group) around the world.

The age group reportedly represents 25 percent of the global population.

As world leaders descended in New York for an annual gathering at the United Nations (UN) on Monday September 24 (September 25 in the Philippines), BTS spoke on the podium and urged young people to join the global efforts against discrimination and poverty, according to a Reuters news report.

The seven-member band, who this year became the first K-pop group to top the Billboard 200 album chart, made an impassioned plea at the UN for young people to find their voices to help shape the future.

The 193 UN member states agreed three years ago to an ambitious set of 17 global goals designed to conquer poverty, inequality and other international woes by a 2030 deadline.

Campaigners have stressed the need for the younger generation to get involved, with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimating that the global population of adolescents and young people will reach 2 billion by 2030.

BTS leader Kim Nam-joon, aka RM, spoke for the group to help launch a UNICEF campaign called “Generation Unlimited,” outlining the issues that they, their fans and young people around the world face today and the need to step up.

“I want to hear your voice, I want to hear your conviction. No matter where you’re from, skin color, gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name (and) find your voice,” said Namjoon, 24.

Namjoon’s speech, which was shared by the UNICEF’s Twitter account, went viral on social media with more than 148,000 retweets and 254,000 likes.

BTS songs on YouTube have reached 506,976,935 views while the least has more than one million views.

In this city, BTS merchandise are selling like hot cakes at the Blue and White Merchandise at the Nepo Mall. A saleslady at the store said most teenagers come with their parents for some of the items on sale at the store. BTS albums are the best sellers, she added.

Julienne Marnelli M. Valenciano, a Grade 7 bubbly young teenager from the Angeles City Science High School and a BTS fan, said the K-Pop group’s UN campaign is proof to her parents that, “I am following the right persons.”

BTS, formed five years ago, topped the 2018 Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list that ranks South Korea’s most powerful and influential celebrities. It was the first K-pop band to speak at any United Nations annual gathering.

BTS also helped launch a UNICEF campaign called “Generation Unlimited.”

YouTube star Lilly Singh, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, also appeared at the event with BTS watched by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, who is Korean-American.

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