All seven members of the iconic K-pop group BTS made their first visit to the White House Tuesday, promoting the importance of inclusion on the last day of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Each member of the Korean band – RM, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook and V – joined Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for the White House’s daily press briefing and gave brief remarks about the rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian representation and inclusion. 

“We were devastated by the recent surge of hate crimes, including Asian American hate crimes,” Jimin said Tuesday. “To put a stop to this and support the cause, we’d like to take this opportunity to voice ourselves once again.” 

Many eager fans, known as ARMY, gathered outside the White House and watched the press conference on their phones. A YouTube stream of the press conference amassed more than 1.8 million views by Tuesday evening.

‘It’s not wrong to be different’:BTS talks inclusion at the White House

From left, K-pop supergroup BTS members Jimin, RM, and Jin, appear during the daily briefing.
Fans of BTS reach through the fencing outside the White House in Washington, DC, on May 31, 2022.

Attacks on Asian American communities rose early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

About 9,000 anti-Asian hate incidents were reported from March 19, 2020 to June 30, 2021, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

BTS member RM speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House as they visit to discuss Asian inclusion and representation, anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination.
Members of the K-pop supergroup BTS join White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during the daily briefing.

Jungkook said during the briefing that he believes music can be a unifier of “all things.”

“We still feel surprised that music created by South Korean artists reaches so many people around the world, transcending languages and cultural barriers.”

Fans of BTS react as they watch the daily press briefing outside the White House.
BTS member Jungkook speaks at the daily press briefing at the White House.
A fan of BTS looks through photos of the band outside the White House.
A doll in the likeness of BTS member Jungkook is displayed outside the White House.
A child wears a homemade "Lil' BTS" necklace outside the White House.
A fan of BTS holds up a poster of the boy band outside the White House.
Members of the South Korean pop group BTS leave after speaking at the daily press briefing at the White House.

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY

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