Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia repeatedly requested South Korean pop superstars BTS perform in the country, culminating in a rare concert at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh in October, President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday.
Moon disclosed the details surrounding BTS' Saudi Arabia concert during a New Year's event for South Korea's leading artists and performers, News 1 reported.
Moon said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman repeatedly requested the presence of BTS on Saudi soil. Moon, who may have had to postpone a state visit, said BTS was invited to play in the country for an "exclusive concert."
"It is a sign K-pop is well received" in Saudi Arabia, Moon said, according to the report.
In his remarks before South Korea's creative industry, Moon also congratulated filmmaker Bong Joon-ho; Bong's film Parasite won a Golden Globe this week for best foreign language film.
"Bong Joon-ho's film Parasite won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film for the first time in Korean film history," Moon said Wednesday. "Following the Palme d'Or award at Cannes Film Festival, it demonstrated the potential of 100 years of Korean cinema."
Moon also said in his meetings with leaders from Southeast Asia he learned South Korean television entertainment has become a part of daily life.
According to Moon, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said his hobby is watching Korean dramas, which he "watches every day, after work."
The South Korean leader also said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told him when busy streets in Vietnamese cities suddenly go quiet, it is a sign the people are at home watching primetime Korean dramas, according to News 1.
Moon also apologized for past incidents of "blacklisting" artists during the previous administration of Park Geun-hye, according to Yonhap.
He vowed it would "never happen again" and that "maximum freedom will be guaranteed" for South Korea's community of artists and creative professionals.
In 2018, a former culture minister was jailed for creating the alleged list of professionals critical of Park.