Scenes from BTS’s Busan World Expo ambassador appointment ceremony cause criticism

Presidential office policy coordination officer Jang Sung-min holds up BTS member V's arms during a ceremony appointing the boy band as ambassadors for Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo, held at HYBE's office in Yongsan District, central Seoul, Tuesday. [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Presidential office policy coordination officer Jang Sung-min holds up BTS member V’s arms during a ceremony appointing the boy band as ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, held at HYBE’s office in Yongsan District, central Seoul, Tuesday. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A scene from a ceremony Tuesday appointing BTS as ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo is receiving backlash from netizens. At the ceremony held at HYBE’s office in Yongsan District, central Seoul, one of the politicians present was seen twisting BTS member V’s arms as he held them up with his hands in a celebratory position.

Jang Sung-min, the presidential office’s policy coordination officer, was filmed on camera approaching V, whispering something to him, and then abruptly grabbing V’s hand to lift up their arms, twisting V’s arm, while Jang smiled at the cameras.

V was visibly taken aback and staggered as he tried to find a comfortable position after the sudden movement instigated by Jang.

Many online comments berated Jang’s behavior. “I don’t know why Jang did that, it’s so out of the blue,” one comment read. “Jang should have at least asked before grabbing V’s hand and jerking his arm up like that,” another read.

Other moments during the appointment ceremony also brought criticism. After Prime Minister Han Duck-soo presented plaques to members RM, Jin, and Suga, confusion broke out on stage due to a lack of coordination between BTS members and politicians, resulting in RM being blocked from view as commemorative photos were being taken.

RM later tried to turn around to show his face properly to the cameras and audience, to which fans and netizens said that Han and the others on stage should have been more accommodating to the members.

BTS, who on Tuesday officially became ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo, is planning to hold a large-scale concert in Busan in October to promote the bid. The concert will be broadcast live worldwide.

BY LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]