Since President Moon Jae In began his term in 2017, he’s proven himself to be a bit of a K-Pop fan. Here are 10 of the idols and groups the Korean president has spoken favorably about or shown his support to in recent years.
President Moon Jae In has shared his love for BTS numerous times. Back in 2018 when the group made history as the first K-Pop act to reach #1 on the Billboard album chart, the President wrote them a thank you letter.
Congratulations to the seven boys who love music and the boys’ wings, ‘ARMY.’ Young people all around the world find comfort and courage through BTS’s songs and dancing, dreams, and passion. I congratulate you on the album ‘Love Yourself: Tear’ reaching #1 on USA’s ‘Billboard 200.
— Moon Jae In
In 2019, the presidential aide revealed that he invited BTS to meet President Moon Jae In in Paris on the one day they had off from their tour. The members gladly agreed and requested no payment. To thank them, the President gave each member a signed watch.
President Moon Jae In even watches the members on TV. He once told Jungkook and Jin that he saw them on Give Me a Meal.
2. Red Velvet
The President must think highly of Red Velvet given that they were the only K-Pop group chosen to represent South Korea at the Spring is Coming concert in Pyongyang, North Korea. Their historic 2018 performance was one of the instrumental events that helped to improve relations between South Korea and North Korea.
He later invited Red Velvet and their fellow performers to a luncheon at the Blue House to thank them,
In one interview about North and South Korean relations, President Moon Jae In smiled as he referred to the group as “our Red Velvet”.
South Korea President Moon Jaein: "..I heard that a North Korean ice hockey athlete listening to our Red Velvet's song while training…"
'Our Red Velvet' uwu 😍 pic.twitter.com/93gxuRrWta
— K У R 🐳 (@kyr935) May 11, 2018
3. MONSTA X
Another group hand-picked to represent South Korea in diplomatic relations was MONSTA X. The group performed at a concert in Oslo in 2019 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the alliance between Norway and South Korea.
President Moon Jae In and the first lady even took the time to meet MONSTA X and talk with them. Later, the Blue House posted a Twitter update personally thanking the members for their performance.
— 대한민국 청와대 (@TheBlueHouseKR) June 12, 2019
In a speech on diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan, President Moon Jae In highlighted the impact of K-Pop. In particular, he credited two groups pioneering the third Hallyu Wave in Japan—BTS for boy groups, and TWICE for girl groups.
As part of his presidential campaign, he also created a cover of TWICE’s iconic song “Cheer Up” with lyrics encouraging citizens to vote.
In June 2019, EXO were invited to attend a highly prestigious cocktail reception at the Blue House during a meeting between President Moon Jae In and the US President Donald Trump.
The surprising thing about their invitation is that they were reportedly called in specifically as a guest for Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s advisor and daughter.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) June 29, 2019
When Ivanka Trump met EXO at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, she revealed her children are huge EXO-Ls.
6. Lisa (BLACKPINK)
In an interview with Bangkok Post, President Moon Jae In discussed the strong links between Thailand and South Korea. In particular, he noted that today’s K-Pop scene includes a number of talented Thai performers, such as BLACKPINK’s Lisa.
7. Nichkhun (2PM)
Nichkhun from 2PM was also mentioned alongside Lisa in the Bangkok Post interview.
8. Seohyun (Girls’ Generation)
Alongside Red Velvet, Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun was another artist selected to perform at the Spring is Coming concert. A few months prior to that, she performed with the North Korean Art Troupe after a sudden request from the Blue House.
After she rose to the occasion, President Moon Jae In called Seohyun personally to thank her. He told Seohyun that the sight of both Koreas holding hands and performing together was touching for the whole world.
After AOA performed at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, President Moon Jae In was so impressed that he gave all the members gifts. Chanmi revealed the special watches they received from the President.
He even took a selfie with the group.
10. Junsu (JYJ)
JYJ’s Kim Junsu is another K-Pop star who received a gift from the President and the First Lady. Back in January 2019, President Moon Jae In sent out 10,000 Lunar New Year boxes to those who have made contributions to South Korea in various fields.
Junsu was one of the lucky artists who made the cut, posting his gift box on Instagram for everyone to see. The box was personalized with his name and contained Korean delicacies like solsongju (an alcoholic drink), honey cakes, and-deep fried sweet rice cakes.