Internationally renowned K-pop group, BTS, will have an indirect participation in the "2023 World Scout Jamboree K-pop Super Live" (hereafter referred to as the "Jamboree Concert") via photocard donations.

On August 11, HYBE, BTS's management company, released an official statement: "At the K-pop concert being held at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, we will distribute sets of photocards featuring individual portraits of all seven BTS members (RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, Jungkook). We will be providing 43,000 sets, valued at over 800 million won (based on selling price), free of charge."

The decision to donate these photocards was described by HYBE as a commemoration of "The Year of Korea Tourism." The company further added, "We wanted to provide an opportunity for scouts from over 150 countries - approximately 43,000 attendees - to experience K-pop culture up close. We hope this concert will become a special memory for all attendees."

While the statement seems standard, the majority of K-pop fans perceive this move differently. Many speculate that BTS's appearance at the "Jamboree Concert" was implicitly demanded due to political pressure, resulting in HYBE's reluctant donation of the photocards as a compromise.

The often-criticized "Jamboree Concert" is a state-led event hosted by the Korea Scout Association and managed by the Saemangeum World Scout Jamboree Organizing Committee. With support from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Korea Tourism Organization, and North Jeolla Province. Key political figures such as Kim Hyun-sook, Lee Sang-min, Park Bo-gyun, and Kim Yoon-deok serve as co-chairs of the organizing committee.

Originally scheduled to be held outdoors in Saemangeum, Buan County, North Jeolla Province, the concert venue was relocated to the Seoul World Cup Stadium due to concerns about inadequate preparations, extreme heat, and safety issues. Despite not being in the original lineup, BTS was suddenly asked to join, primarily because lawmaker Sung Il-jong requested the Defense Ministry's support to have BTS perform. Notably, BTS members Jin and J-Hope are currently serving in the military.

Many K-pop fans and netizens criticized Sung's approach, viewing it as a misuse of BTS for political and authoritative agendas. The issue was further inflamed when Sung appeared on CBS Radio, arguing that because BTS had previously participated in global events like the UN and White House visits, they should be used to promote the national event.

Responding to these claims, former Cheong Wa Dae secretary Tak Hyun-min stressed on social media that artists like BTS are not to be arbitrarily used. He highlighted the need for sufficient preparation, rehearsals, and the dedication of numerous staff to make a successful performance. He further emphasized that demanding a sudden performance without these preparations is not courteous but rather coercive.

Meanwhile, the "Jamboree Concert" is scheduled to be held at 7 pm on August 11th at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. With BTS's last-minute addition and other changes, the final lineup consists of 19 acts, including MAMAMOO, Monsta X units ShownuXHyungwon, NCT Dream, ITZY, Newkins, The Boyz, KARD, Jo Yuri, Kwon Eunbi, fromis_9, HollyBang, Kang Daniel, P1Harmony, The Newsix, PsyCircus, Libertante, ZeroBaseOne, and ATBO. Actors Gong Myung, ITZY's Yuna, and NewJeans' Hyein will be hosting the event.