K-pop fans to protect Maengbang Beach where BTS went

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A signature campaign, ‘Save Butter Beach’ to prevent damage to Maengbang Beach in Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do, which is attracting attention as a filming location for BTS’ album cover, has begun.

This signature campaign will be conducted jointly by the nationwide coal-free network ‘Beyond Coal’ and ‘Kpop4planet’, formed by K-pop fans worldwide to solve climate change problems through creative climate action.

The campaign calls for the suspension of the construction of the Samcheok Coal-fired Power Plant (Samcheok Blue Power), which threatens the preservation of Maengbang Beach.

Last May, when BTS released their digital single ‘Butter,’ the album cover photo was taken at Maengbang Beach.

As ‘Butter’ gained worldwide popularity, such as taking the top spot for ten weeks on the Billboard chart and setting five Guinness World Records on Spotify and YouTube, the world’s most extensive music streaming services, attention was also paid to the location of the album cover photo shoot.

Due to the popularity of ‘Butter,’ many BTS fans started looking for Maengbang Beach. As Maengbang Beach is rapidly emerging as a ‘BTS holy land,’ Samcheok City is reproducing the items used as props at the time of the cover shoot, installing a photo zone and actively promoting it to K-pop fans at home and abroad.

The problem is that Maengbang Beach, a new attraction for K-pop fans, is in danger of disappearing.

Near the filming location of the BTS album cover, Samcheok Blue Power, a subsidiary of POSCO, is working on a port to transport coal used in the Samcheok Coal-fired Power Plant.

As soon as construction of the factory for the breakwater construction begins, changes in the movement of sand occur, and coastal erosion occurs.

There is a significant concern that the beach will lose its original shape and function as sand cliffs, which are already close to 2m tall, are formed along the coast in some places.

In October of last year, the Wonju Regional Environment Agency stopped construction from installing erosion reduction facilities and preventing coastal erosion. Still, construction resumed after eight months without taking measures without a transparent verification procedure that excluded residents.

In addition to threatening the existence of Maengbang Beach, which is emerging as a K-pop attraction, Samcheok Coal-fired Power Plant faces various problems.

The most representative is that the world is rolling up its arms together and going against the resolution of the climate crisis.

Contrary to the global trend of de-fossil fuels, the Samcheok Coal-Fired Power Plant is expected to emit 13 million tons of carbon dioxide annually when it is completed and started operation.

This is similar to the 12.29 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions that the government promised to reduce by 2025 as a Green New Deal project.

According to a recent analysis conducted by Climate Solutions, an accounting firm, if the current 2030 GHG reduction target is raised, the utilization rate of the Samcheok Coal-fired Power Plant will drop sharply, increasing the possibility that even the construction cost will not be recovered.

It has also been predicted that coal power plants’ fine dust and air pollutants will cause up to 1,081 premature deaths over 30 years.

As this problem became known, in a survey in March last year, 60% of Samcheok citizens answered that they oppose constructing a coal power plant.

“The Samcheok Coal Power Plant has many problems, but the biggest problem is that money cannot solve the problem of coastal erosion at Maengbang Beach in particular,” said Arin Jung, head of the digital communication team at Climate Solution, who is leading this campaign in ‘Beyond Coal.’ pointed out

“Once the beach is completely damaged due to continuous coastal erosion due to the construction of the power plant, even if you spend a lot of money, you will never be able to recover the old Allegbang Beach.”

Lee Da-Yeon, an activist of K-Pop 4 Planet, who runs this campaign, said, “It is a beach where the ARMYs, who are fandoms of BTS, are visiting to make precious memories as they consider it a BTS holy land and photo spot, but I can see that the coastal erosion is already underway. I am very sorry,” he said.

He continued, “As BTS is gaining worldwide popularity overseas, it could develop into a world-class tourist destination when the corona crisis eases, and travel becomes possible. He said sorry.

‘Beyond Coal’ and K-Pop for Planet took this signature campaign as an opportunity to inform K-pop fans around the world about the problem of the Samcheok Coal Power Plant and appeal to them to participate in the protection of the Allied Beach. We plan to continue various activities to protect Maengbang Beach, which is a beautiful natural heritage that deserves to be given and has unforgettable memories for the ARMYs, the fandom of BTS.

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