BTS once again officially became South Korea's pride on September 15. The K-pop megastars are now the first and only artists in the pop culture industry to be appointed as Special Presidential Envoys.
The seven men attended the ceremony at the Blue House and were given certificates of appointment, a fountain pen, and diplomatic passports by President Moon Jae In himself.
BTS members enjoy perks with diplomatic passports
While ARMYs the world over celebrated this incredible, history-making move, some wondered how diplomatic passports differ from regular ones. Moreover, is getting a diplomatic passport such a significant achievement? And, of course, the perks that come with it.
With the significance of having an entire ceremony to give a passport and other things, fans know it's a special document.
Red diplomatic passports are incredibly special, and they aren't given to everyone. They are provided only to the most notable higher-ups.
Some of the only people with red passports are the President, the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, civil servants, and former presidents and their families, according to Newsen.
There's a long list for eligibility and a longer one for benefits. One criteria ARMY takes the most pride in is that individuals under 30 to 35 years of age aren't qualified "unless they've achieved something outstanding".
BTS' eldest member, Jin, is only 29 and will turn 30 in Korean age this December, while the youngest, Jungkook, is only 25.
With a diplomatic passport, the band's members can now get visa exemptions from 199 countries, traveling without any delay or needing a visa. They can even meet any top-ranking government official, they'll never have to pay airport departure tax, and they'll get high red carpet treatment and diplomatic lounge use.
There are other benefits such as getting a discount on diplomatic cars, upgrades on travel via airline, and hotel upgrades.
However, these diplomatic passports can only be used for special government-related activities. BTS can use this passport while accompanying the President to the UN General Assembly, making travel smoother and more manageable. But, they can't use it for their personal trips.
For award shows, tours, vacation, filming, etc., the BTS members will have to use their personal passports.
During the appointment ceremony, First Lady Kim Jung Sook praised BTS by emphasizing their global influence, saying:
"Our generation learned English by listening to pop songs, but these days, people around the world are learning Korean to understand BTS' songs."
Meanwhile, BTS will give an opening speech at the Sustainable Development Goals Moment at the UN General Assembly on September 20. They will also present a video performance.
In other news, BTS is gearing up for another live concert. Titled "Permission To Dance On Stage," it will live stream on October 24, 2021, exclusively on Weverse.