Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said K-pop superband BTS will continue to serve as a public relations ambassador for South Korea's bid to host the World Expo in 2030 in the southern port city of Busan, despite the septet's decision to suspend group activities.
Han is on a visit to Paris to attend a general assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which is an intergovernmental body in charge of overseeing World Expos.
BTS accepted the Busan city government's request for the role to help the city host the World Expo, days after the K-pop sensation said it will suspend performing as a group and focus instead on solo projects to explore the growth of individual members.
Asked about the group's decision to suspend group activities, Han told reporters Monday that BTS "has already decided to become a public relations ambassador and that doesn't matter."
South Korea is stepping up its efforts to win support from the BIE members to host the expo, and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will also play his role for the bid, Han said.
Han was accompanied by SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, who doubles as the chief of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon.
On Tuesday, Han is set to deliver a presentation on South Korea's bid to host the international event under the main theme of "Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future."
On the sidelines of the assembly, Han is expected to meet representatives of BIE member countries to ask for their support.
The World Expo is one of the largest international festivals besides the World Cup and the Olympics. Hosting an expo is estimated to create economic effects worth 61 trillion won ($47.1 billion), according to the South Korean government. (Yonhap)