3:04 pm - 06/24/2019

Former Presidential Aide shares story of BTS's meeting with President Moon Jae In in France

Tak Hyun Min, a presidential planning advisory committee member to Korean president Moon Jae In, recently shared a behind-the-scenes story of BTS’s performance in France last year.

During a podcast appearance on June 22, he talked about his time as the presidential aide for protocol. One of the stories he shared was about BTS and their performance at the “Resonance of Korean Musicians,” an event to promote friendly relations between Korea and France.

He said, “President Moon Jae In and first lady Kim Jung Sook were in Paris for the event, which happened to be taking place on the one day BTS had a day off from their concerts, I think they were performing in Germany and moving on to the U.K.” Tak Hyun Min explained that he had met with BTS and their agency Big Hit Entertainment earlier in New York to ask if they would be willing to visit Paris to attend the event with the president, to which they happily agreed.

Tak Hyun Min added, “We said we’d be able to cover their traveling expenses, and the representative from their agency smiled. We were planning to book the members business class tickets, but they asked if it was okay if they just used their private plane. We calculated how much it would cost for BTS and their staff to be brought to the event, and it was going to cost us 100 to 200 million won (approximately $86,300 to $172,500), which was the entire budget for the concert.”

The story had a happy note though, as Tak Hyun Min explained that BTS were more than happy to attend the event and didn’t ask for any payment or compensation. The members were gifted with official Blue House watches that were signed by the president. Tak Hyun Min said, “We were very grateful to BTS that they were willing to accept the watches as their sole payment for being at the event. Thanks to them, we were able to have a great event.”

Source: @Soompi, Naver via Soompi
jyusou 24th-Jun-2019 09:42 am (UTC)
At first my reaction had been like "they should have paid for the clout!!" but then I thought, it was probably better that they went without the need for compensation, what with it being government money and all. That shit could get complicated.

Anyway, I'm probably overthinking things, but I can't help it, my government sucks and all our politicians are self-serving assholes whose only goal is to enrich themselves and their friends and I hate them.
gigabytexx 24th-Jun-2019 05:09 pm (UTC)
More like, most governments and politicians in the world? Hahaha
jyusou 24th-Jun-2019 05:58 pm (UTC)
Lmao that’s true, that makes me feel less alone OTL
jaelissi 24th-Jun-2019 12:31 pm (UTC)
Generous, patriotic kings.
rosevael 24th-Jun-2019 02:34 pm (UTC)
I know they probably wanted to adopt taehyung the moment they saw him tbh.
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 02:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad they declined payment, I get that this got the event a lot of press but with the amounts they're raking in already seeing them attach value to things that don't involve money is really nice. Being offered transport costs and then slipping in "can you pay for our private jet tho" is tacky af especially considering the budget for that concert probably went to artists who need and deserve that sort of backing to be able to perform overseas (yes I know it's government money which is being wasted on plenty of other things but a budget cut like this is always taken out on the people that need it the most).
rainstormraider 24th-Jun-2019 03:38 pm (UTC)
If the government offered to pay transportation costs and it turned out that they use charters that’s not really tacky though.

Edited at 2019-06-24 03:38 pm (UTC)
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 04:21 pm (UTC)
I think being offered travel expenses, assuming it's quite clear from the type of event with a limited budget that with that they mean decent airplane tickets and then instead of declining and saying "I'm really sorry, we can't travel in that manner at the moment" asking for private jet money assuming it will just magically be available is tacky, sorry.
rainstormraider 25th-Jun-2019 01:22 am (UTC)
Yeah I don’t think it’s common knowledge that idols or any other artist travel with a whole team especially when they have to perform. And when you’re doing group bookings charters are actually more cost effective than traveling commercial.
nekobot 25th-Jun-2019 02:07 pm (UTC)
It depends on the artist - from my experience most idol groups (especially non big 3 ones) travel via "normal" planes and keep their staff to a minimum or try to hire local people to keep costs low as everyone coming with requires a working visa which can get very cumbersome and expensive. It definitely makes financial sense for artists like BTS and I remember SM chartering planes for SMtown concerts but I've also seen a surprising number of artists opting for a nightliner bus or even just a van and having minimal staff! I think outside of that world star level most artists would be thrilled with a free business class seat, haha.
nekokonneko 24th-Jun-2019 04:03 pm (UTC)
How is it tacky? The goverment offered to pay for flight tickets and the rep let them know it wouldn't be a commercial flight but a private jet. They had already been using their private plane to travel exclusively at that point, it wasn't just flexing.
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 04:16 pm (UTC)
It says in the piece that they were planning on booking them business class tickets so I'm assuming that's what they offered? I think you should either explain the situation politely without asking for more money (if they had the means to compensate they could always offer more) or just pass, not straight up ask for that sort of money for an occasion like this. I'm not arguing that they shouldn't have been using a private plane, just that it's tacky that they were trying to be forthcoming in accommodating them and they were then asked for a significantly larger amount, more than what was even set aside for the event, and from the article it seems BTS would agree seeing how they passed on it!
nekokonneko 24th-Jun-2019 04:20 pm (UTC)
They didn't ask for more money to cover the private plane, they asked if the government would be able to cover the costs of a private plane, which they weren't, so they didn't. There is no controversy here.
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 04:22 pm (UTC)
Lol I'm not making controversy, I said this was really nice of BTS? Sorry that I think it's in bad taste to ask astronomical amounts of money in certain situations, my bad.
nekokonneko 24th-Jun-2019 04:27 pm (UTC)
Dude, the goverment offered money first, that opened the door to talking about the cost of transport. The BH rep didn't even ask for the money directly or mention a specific price, they just let Min know the scale of costs wasn't what he inutially assumed
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 04:30 pm (UTC)
It literally says in the article they asked if they could cover the cost of the private jet instead.
nekokonneko 24th-Jun-2019 04:42 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly. They asked if the form of transportation they were using could be covered.

Let's break this down. BTS aren't scheduled to do anything but perform for their 2 concerts in France. While they're in the U.S., a few weeks before the event, Min asks if they would be able to perform for them, on their day off. He confidently says they can cover travel costs as renumeration, assuming some busniess class tickets would be it. Not knowing anything about the scale of the event (reminder, this was not on their radar and they don't necessarily know anything about it), the BH rep asks if they can cover a private jet since that's what they're using for BTS' privacy and security. Min goes and does some calculations and realises that it's too much. BTS says don't worry about it and performs for free.

How is the BH rep tacky for asking the aide to the damned president (he's not some random low-level civil servant) if he can cover cost for travel to an event that they're asking BTS to do on relatively short notice, on a day off, in the middle of their tour?
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 04:55 pm (UTC)
You're bringing up all sorts of things I never disagreed with or even mentioned - and most importantly, from what I'm reading they were just asked to attend, not perform at first, if they were asked to perform straight out this would be a whole different situation and it would obviously be rude af to expect them to fly over and not pay for it.

Anyway, yes this would be a massive arrangement for BTS to have to make in the middle of their tour. Yes it should not be expected of them to show up at their own cost just for the hell of it. At the time I honestly would have thought they needed their resting time more and no one could have expected them to make a detour at that point. I just said the rep should've explained the situation, assume it wasn't possible to cover that kind of money and declined (leaving the door open for an offer if that was in the cards) and not straight up ask for private jet money. BH reps are aware of these types of events and know where the money comes from if a cut needs to be made to accommodate someone else. It's a question of manners and it has nothing to do with BTS who reacted perfectly in this case.

We're allowed to disagree on this you know? I explained why I personally think something is in bad taste and you don't think it is, and that's fine. I really don't see why we have to have such a tedious discussion about this.
nekokonneko 24th-Jun-2019 05:13 pm (UTC)
The entire story refers to BTS being there as attending, even after they performed, without any mention of a change from being an audience member to being a performer, so I'm thinking they asked them to perform form the get-go. Could be wrong, but I figure they'd stress a change if there was one in the last bit where they mention the story has a happy ending.

I just said the rep should've explained the situation, assume it wasn't possible to cover that kind of money and declined (leaving the door open for an offer if that was in the cards) and not straight up ask for private jet money.

Declining like that could've itself come across as rude or arrogant. "We use a private plane, so it's probably going to be too much to cover." Like, you're the one who said mentioning the use of the private plane was tacky. How else could they explain the situation?

Of course, we can disagree. I thought we were having a polite (if circular) disagreement based on our different interpretation of the article. You can stop replying any time you're tired of this.
nekobot 24th-Jun-2019 05:39 pm (UTC)
I was always under the impression that they were invited as guests because their tour schedule was so heavy on them and that the addition of the performance was last minute - if this wasn't the case then I take back everything I said because it's an entirely different situation. Everything I said was assuming they were invited to watch the show and meet the president, maybe do a speech at most, if they were invited to perform then I'd find it ridiculous if the matter of expense compensation hadn't come up because no one is entitled to a free BTS show.

And I never said their mentioning the use of a private plane in itself was tacky, just the assumption that someone might pay for it in a situation like this! Honestly, for all I know the conversation went an entirely different way but I'm going by what I'm reading in the article and in that specific situation I found it rude. There is definitely a non-offensive way to bring up that this is how they're travelling (especially since as far as I know it was a necessity) and that they wouldn't want to impose that kind of cost on someone - especially when you know it's government money that's involved which is a whole other thing than taking money from an event company or something.

I really think we just see this differently and since we weren't there we'll probably never know every exact thing that was said so choosing just to end this on being glad they went because it gave us Jin and his watch magician moment.
daynr 27th-Jun-2019 02:19 am (UTC)
I had the same thought about private charter.
nekobot 27th-Jun-2019 12:17 pm (UTC)
It really says a lot about how they're running their business imo
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