K-pop Band ‘BTS’ Speaks at UN


The spokesman for K-Pop band BTS, Kim Namjoon (RM), spoke at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24. It was the first K-Pop group to ever address the United Nations. Their message to the world, especially to the younger generation, is to “Speak Yourself” and believe in your own convictions and voice.

BTS has 13.4 million followers on Instagram. It is one of the most popular Korean bands in the world.

They partnered with UNICEF in 2017 to end violence against young people. “Love Yourself” is the first step they suggest young people take.

“I began to worry about what other people thought of me, and started seeing myself through their eyes,” RM talked about how he felt when he was around 9 years old. “I stopped daydreaming. Instead, I just tried to jam myself into the molds that other people made.”

He started to feel lost, but luckily music served as his sanctuary. After joining BTS, RM also thought about giving up when facing hurdles and challenges. However, the love and support he got from his team members and his fans helped him through.

“I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was and for who I hope to become,“ RM said. He also mentioned that they heard remarkable stories after launching the “Love Yourself” campaign and realized their great responsibility. Now they want to invite young people to take one more step: “Speak Yourself.”

BTS is the first K-Pop band that ever address the UN in NYC on Sept. 24. (Screenshot/Reuters)
BTS is the first K-Pop band that ever address the UN in NYC on Sept. 24. (Screenshot/Reuters)

“What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story,” he added. “I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your conviction ... Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself.”

He said he made plenty of mistakes.

“I have many faults, and I have many more fears, but I’m going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself gradually just little by little,” he said before he concluded the speech with, “Speak yourself.”

BTS appeared at Times Square for an interview and performance of some of their moves on ABC’s “Good Morning America“ on Sept 26. It was the first time they appeared on a U.S. national morning show. They were also invited to join the Jimmy Fallon show the night before.

But not everyone embraces BTS. Some people think their lyrics and behaviors are too self-centered, showing a lack of respect and consideration for others, and going against traditional values.

BTS has also been accused of misogyny in the lyrics of their song “War of Hormone” (2014), and with RM’s mixtape “Joke” (2015). They have also faced numerous scandals involving illegal marketing and alleged racism, leading to death threats against RM and another band member Jimin in 2015 and 2017.

A twitter user, @wevebeenhere, claimed that RM plagiarized lyrics from himself and another person, @radiordinary, in 2015. “I will become your underline because you’re that important” is from @wevebeenhere, and “When you lie in bed with loneliness the bed gets bigger” is from @radiordinary.

RM then apologized for the mistake, saying that his lyrics came from books, movies, interviews, and letters, although he didn’t confirm the source of the original quote. If you enjoyed reading this article, please continue to read more stories here. Sign up for our free newsletters here.