There was the volatile situation in North Korea and the denuclearization of the peninsula, collaboration on vaccinations to prevent the deadly spread of COVID-19, climate change, and the need to fortify alliances to potentially counter Beijing.
And then there was another matter: K-pop.
“Our people, our people-to-people and cultural connections are only growing,” said Biden, standing before Korean and American flags at a presser before a contingent of the press in formal attire, according to C-Span.
“K-pop fans are universal,” he said, pausing as chuckles spread through the room. “I can tell those who laugh know what I’m talking about. Anyway I’ll get back to that later.”
The President’s remarks came the same day that K-pop supergroup BTS released their new English-language comeback single, “Butter.” Its music video has racked up 97 million views and counting as of 8 p.m. ET, just 20 hours after its initial release, and is on track to break the group’s own record for most YouTube views in the first 24 hours of release.
“SAY MY NAME JOE,” replied one ARMY Twitter user in reply to a clip of his speech, accompanied by a gif of the seven Bangtan Boys.
“The president’s grandkids must be doing a great job,” another speculated.
Biden was the second foreign head of state to reference K-pop Friday. Earlier in the day, he had tweeted from his official Twitter account to ask the public what their first purchase would be if they had 300 euros to spend on “books, music, films, exhibitions, or concerts,” part of a push to introduce a new government initiative to boost cultural spending by giving people a “culture pass stipend.
He retweeted just three replies from his constituents. One of them was the answer “A BTS CONCERT. Thank youuuu and stream #BTS)Butter Mr. president,” accompanied by a purple heart emoji, smileys and thumbs up.
“Thank you for promoting #BTS_Butter Mr. President!” fans tweeted back in response.