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The year 2020 has been taking a toll on the global economy due to the current pandemic, but South Korea’s entertainment industry is all set to act as a key to make up for those losses. Bangtan Sonyeondan, or popularly known as BTS, has currently emerged as a silver lining in the gloomy, pandemic affected Korean Economy, as the K-pop band’s latest hit track “Dynamite”, is expected to generate a whopping revenue of 1.43 Billion USD, for the Korean economy.

The seven-membered boy band, released “Dynamite”, the band’s first all English single, on Friday, August 21, and instantly became number one, on almost all the streaming platforms, following its release. On September 1, it became the first South Korean track to top the Billboard’s “HOT 100” chart.

On September 7, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, along with Korea Culture and Tourism Institute got together to analyse the revenue generated by their success and claimed that the track would generate 1.7 Trillion won ($1.4 Billion) and nearly 8000 new jobs. As well as the direct sales of more than 400 Billion Won, it would lead to nearly 600 Billion won of cosmetics sales and almost 180 billion won in food and drinks. However, the study excludes the data from the Foreign Tourism, due to the tight travel restrictions imposed by Seoul, due to COVID-19.

Earlier, a Harvard study has found that the BTS’s total contribution to the Korean Economy accounted for approximately $4.9 Billion of the South Korea’s GDP, which is more than the contribution of its national carrier.

Korean Pop culture has been South Korea’s greatest tool in Soft Power diplomacy, and BTS has often been probed as a cultural event. The Korean artists are now challenged to enhance the promotion of Hallyu, by incorporating tradition classical Korean culture and literature into their work. The promotion of Korean culture, as conveyed by K-pop, led to an increase in the interest in the Korean studies, goods and services. This demonstrates how South Korea, a middle power in the East Asian Region manages to expand its influence in the International affairs by encouraging K-pop, and how BTS is an exemplar for exerting this soft power by using Korean Culture throughout their work.

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The author graduated in Economics and Political science and is currently pursuing her Master's in East Asian Studies from University of Delhi. She is quite keen in understanding diverse foreign policies and societies and their impact on Global Geopolitics.

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