BTS gets award upon their return home

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BTS gets award upon their return home


Global K-pop sensation BTS receives the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit at the 2018 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards on Wednesday for their contribution in spreading Korean culture and hangul abroad. [KOCCA]

BTS was honored with the fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit at the 2018 Korean Popular Culture and Arts Awards held at Olympic Hall in southern Seoul on Wednesday.

At the event organized by Korea Creative Content Agency and hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, BTS was recognized for their service in spreading and developing Korean pop culture, becoming the first K-pop group and the youngest individuals to ever be given the honor.

Each member took turns to speak while accepting the award.

“We have been abroad for a long time and a lot of people have told us that they were learning Korean,” said member Kim Seok-jin - better known as Jin. “I was very proud, and I will try harder to spread our culture abroad. Thank you.”

BTS returned home Wednesday after 52 days away on the American and European legs of the “BTS World Tour: Love Yourself.” Early Wednesday morning, the members arrived at Incheon International Airport, returning home for the first time since Sept. 3.

They remained silent while walking through the airport but made visible statements with their attire. J-Hope wore a white T-shirt with support messages for BTS. Printed with a large image of BTS members, the shirt had the name of the BTS member Jimin and the group’s Korean full-name “Bangtan Sonyeondan,” which means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts,” printed in Korean. The messages of each arm of his T-shirt read, “I support you” and “I love you,” while the back showed the message in pink, “I am an ARMY,” the name of BTS’ fan club.’

Hundreds of fans waiting behind the police lines erupted in cheers as the boy band showed up at the exit gate, screaming messages of support and encouragement like “I am proud of you.” Some fans were even tearful at the scene.

The brief encounter with fans wrapped up in an unusually orderly manner as the ARMY staged a “purple campaign,” taking a cue from the representative color of the group. A hoard of fans held up cardboard signs near the exit gate advising against taking close-up photos of BTS, mindful of some fervent fans’ privacy-invading photography, as well as to avoid any unexpected accidents at the scene.

Meanwhile, BTS’ latest album “Love Yourself: Answer” climbed four spots on the main Billboard albums chart as it retained its presence on the chart for the eighth week in a row, results showed Wednesday.

“Love Yourself: Answer,” the finale of BTS’ “Love Yourself” album trilogy, came in 27th on the Billboard 200 chart, up from last week’s 31st spot.

This is the eighth consecutive week the album has been on the chart since it debuted on top following the release on Aug. 24.

It also retained its No. 1 place on Billboard’s World Albums chart for the eighth week in a row while coming in third on the Independent Albums chart.

The other two “Love Yourself” albums also clinched a solid presence on Billboard charts, with “Love Yourself: Tear” and “Love Yourself: Her” coming in third and fourth place respectively on the World Albums chart, and 13th and 18th on the Independent Albums chart.

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