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BTS arrives in Washington for meeting with Biden

Diplomacy 02:03 May 30, 2022

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean boy group BTS arrived in Washington on Sunday for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden for discussions on ways to address anti-Asian hate crimes.

Six members of the septet arrived at the Dulles International Airport where dozens of fans waited to welcome them on what will be their first-ever visit to the White House on Tuesday.

The six were, however, ushered out of the airport via a special exit by airport authorities due to safety concerns, according to informed sources. One of the group's seven members, Jungkook, reportedly arrived in the U.S. on Saturday.

Members of South Korean boy group BTS leave Washington's Dulles International Airport via a VIP pass after arriving on May 29, 2022 for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden later in the week. (Yonhap)

The White House said the global K-pop phenomenon will join Biden to discuss "Asian inclusion and representation, and to address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination which have become more prominent issues in recent years."

The U.s. has seen a sharp increase in hate crimes targeting Asian American communities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

Biden has repeatedly declared that "hate can have no safe harbor in America."

He has also signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in May 2021, which allowed federal law enforcement to identify, investigate and report hate crimes.

"President Biden and BTS will also discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion and BTS' platform as youth ambassadors who spread a message of hope and positivity across the world," the White House said earlier in a press release.

BTS has twice addressed the United Nations in 2018 and 2021 on issues including climate change and COVID-19 vaccination.

This image, captured from the Twitter account of BTS, shows its members posing for a photo at the second Sustainable Development Goals Moment (SDG Moment) event at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 20, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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