K-pop stars BTS talk climate change, COVID-19 vaccines in UN speech

Members of the South Korean band BTS arrive at United Nations headquarters during the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 20, 2021 in New York City.

Korean pop stars BTS addressed the United Nations on September 20, during the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment.

The seven-member musical juggernaut appeared before the renowned green-marbled backdrop in the General Assembly hall on Monday to help promote U.N. goals for 2030, which include ending extreme poverty, preserving the planet and achieving gender equality.

Footage of the speech posted by the U.N. featured the music icons advocating for the current COVID-19 vaccines. 

Member J-Hope spoke on vaccines saying "some of you heard the news that we were coming to the U.N. and a lot of you were wondering whether we were vaccinated. And yes, all seven of us, of course, we received COVID-19 vaccination."

The singer also addressed the need for action against climate change saying the band feels "an encroaching sense of dread."

"Our time on this Earth is limited," he continued. "I shudder to think about mourning for the Earth."

"Every choice we make is the beginning of change, not the end," said RM, the band’s leader.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in introduced the pop stars as special presidential envoys and an "exceptionally outstanding group of young men who are connecting with the youth across the world."

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The gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on the musicians standing before world leaders and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Nerves were evident when band member Jimin stumbled over his words while talking about young people trying to navigate the pandemic. 

Jimin apologized before taking a breath to recollect himself. It was a moment that prompted the "BTS ARMY" of fans to rally behind him in a show of support on social media. The artists took turns on stage during the seven minutes they were on stage.

But it wasn’t all about U.N. goals. The group also unveiled a new music video for their current hit single, "Permission to Dance," which was filmed at U.N. Headquarters in New York. The singers crooned, "Don’t need to talk the talk, just walk the walk," while dancing their way from the General Assembly hall to the garden overlooking the East River.

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.