North Korea’s all-female cheer squad may be grabbing the press at this year’s Winter Olympics, but the South has a secret weapon of its own: K-pop.
A selection of K-pop stars, including girl groups AOA and Girl’s Day, along with Taeyang, from the mega-popular boy band Big Bang, have been made honorary Olympic ambassadors, a vague term that sees the stars help endorse the Games and appear at official events.
“K-Pop is one of the most well-known and successful Korean cultures throughout the world,” said Lee Kyusang, who is in charge of honorary ambassador management at the Olympics. “Appointing K-pop artists as honorary ambassadors has brought much attention to the Games.”
But it works in the opposite direction too, providing an unrivaled platform for artists looking to reach new international audiences.
Speaking to CNN, AOA member Seol Hyun said the group accepted the offer to become an ambassador “straight away without any hesitation.”
She and AOA traveled to Jakarta last November with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in to promote the Olympics and meet fans.