BTS emphasise they are not disbanding and group activities will continue
SEOUL - South Korean mega boy band BTS rocked the K-pop world on Tuesday (June 14) when they announced a hiatus during their streamed annual "FESTA" dinner, part of a celebration that marked their anniversary as a group.
The emotional announcement sparked rumours of a disbandment.
Stock prices of Hybe, their management company, plummeted on the back of the news by as much as 28 per cent on Wednesday.
However, both the band's members and Hybe's chief executive Park Ji-won have come out to clarify that the band will be continuing group activities even while individual members pursue solo projects.
Mr Park wrote in an e-mail to the company: "Through the BTS Festa Dinner Party, BTS conveyed their desire to expand the range of their activities by combining group activities and individual activities for the continued growth and maturation of the group. Portions of the video are being blown out of proportion and interpreted incorrectly, leading to the spreading of false information."
The English subtitles of the streamed video had member Suga, 29, saying: "We're going into a hiatus now."
This led to sensational headlines and rumours of the band splitting up, which Mr Park shut down, saying: "BTS are not considering disbanding at all and there is nothing going on."
Band leader RM, 27, wrote on fan platform Weverse that after the news broke, he received many articles with misleading headlines.
"A lot of the screenshots of headlines and articles, which had been shared with me, used aggressive keywords taken out of context, like BTS 'disbanding', 'halting group activities' and 'announcing hiatus'," he wrote on fan platform Weverse in Korean.
"As clear as it would have been to those who actually watched it, we explained throughout the whole broadcast that this is not the end for us, just like the title of the song Yet To Come suggests."
The group released its latest song Yet To Come on its anthology album Proof last week.
"Now that I see the screenshots of me bawling my eyes out going around the Internet and triggering a lot of misinterpretations, I'm starting to think I shouldn't have been all that passionate. It seems to me that my courage to be completely transparent and honest always ends up causing unnecessary drama and misunderstandings," he added.
Other members of the septet have also spoken up on social media to reassure fans.
V, 26, wrote, referring to the colour purple adopted by its fans known as Army: "Army and BTS will not break because we are connected by a purple thread."
Jungkook, 24, added: "I'll say this again - we have no desire to disband. We still have a lot of group activities left and there will be more in the future."
However, South Korea's mandatory military service for males under 30 may throw a spanner in the works.
Oldest member Jin will be the first to enlist as he turns 30 in December, with the others following suit in the next few years.