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South Korean group BTS management apologizes over bar visit


The manager of South Korea's popular group BTS has apologized on behalf of one of its members who went to a bar in April, contrary to government advice, just as the country is trying to contain a recent coronavirus outbreak around Seoul's club scene.

Jungkook, BTS' main vocalist, visited a restaurant and a bar in the Itaewon neighborhood with friends on April 25, the boyband's management Big Hit Entertainment said on Monday.

A new cluster of virus cases emerged in that neighborhood this month as social distancing measures eased on May 6, prompting authorities to delay school reopening and close bars and clubs again.

"We have no excuse that we placed the artist's personal life before we were able to emphasize the importance of social distancing. We bow our head in apology," the company said.

The 22-year old, who was there before the first case among Itaewon clubgoers was confirmed, is not showing any symptoms and has tested negative for the coronavirus, Big Hit said.

"He is also deeply regretting on how he did not follow social distancing measures seriously."

South Korea has been lauded for its quick and effective response to the pandemic but the resurgence of cases has raised concerns about a second wave of infections.

Before the rules were eased on May 6, authorities had allowed clubs and bars to stay open as long as they complied with strict social distancing measures, while advising people not to visit them.

Local media reported three other boy band members were with Jungkook during that outing, including Cha Eun-woo of Astro, Mingyu of Seventeen and Jaehyun of NCT.

The managers of all three issued statements confirming they were in Itaewon on the same day as Jungkook, apologizing for their failure to follow social distancing measures. Jaehyun posted a handwritten apology on social media.

As of Monday, 170 cases have been traced to the Itaewon outbreak, with several hundreds in self isolation, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The seven-member BTS suspended their world tour over coronavirus concerns last month.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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"Before the rules were eased on May 6, authorities had allowed clubs and bars to stay open as long as they complied with strict social distancing measures, while advising people not to visit them."

With that in mind the apology should have been: We are apologize for the government's contradictory instructions. In the fututre BTS and its management will look for our nation's leaders to be more coherent. We are still committed to follow instructions that are well thought out, clear, and consistent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Interesting how they have no freedom to be themselves.

They are “officially sorry”.

Someone else has to state that they are. He clearly went of his own free will.

It’s good to have a personal opinion too, otherwise an apology is just a statement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the BTS singer is sorry then why not let him say it himself? He's 22 years old for crying out loud. Let him apologize.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ludicrous. About as clear as the guidelines in England. How are you supposed to socially distance in a bar? Especially a "bar" in Itaewon..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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