Oct 2, 2019

The staggering value of K-pop band BTS

BTS performs in Las Vegas at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Photo: Todd Williamson/NBC/Getty Images

The uber-popular Korean pop boy band BTS accounts for $4.65 billion of South Korea's GDP, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Why it matters: That makes the band as valuable to South Korea's economy as multinational giants like Samsung and Hyundai.

A couple more crazy stats:

  • BTS sold 300,000 tickets for a U.S. tour in minutes, crashing Ticketmaster. And the seats cost an average of $452 each, notes the Hollywood Reporter.
  • The band's twitter account generates around 4 times as much engagement as President Trump's account, reports Axios' Neal Rothschild.

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Global pork prices soar as swine fever infects herds in eastern Asia

South Korean quarantine officials block people from entering an infected area. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

African swine fever, a deadly pig disease, is killing hundreds of millions of hogs in eastern Asian countries, causing a global surge in pork and bacon prices, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: African swine fever is not known to infect or harm humans, but it can kill most pigs in a week and has the potential to disrupt pork markets and threaten food-insecure countries.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019

North Korea fires first submarine-launched missile since 2016, officials say

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un flanked by military officials. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea on Wednesday fired at least 1 suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile, Yonhap news agency reports, citing the South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff. U.S. officials later confirmed the missile launch.

Why it matters: The detected launch near the city of Wonsan on the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula at 7:11am Wednesday local time came hours after North Korea said Pyongyang and Washington would restart working-level denuclearization negotiations Saturday, per the Wall Street Journal, which reports the State Department confirmed the meetings.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 2, 2019

U.S. rebukes North Korea's claim that nuclear talks broke down

Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

U.S. and North Korean officials disagreed with each other on whether denuclearization talks broke down on Saturday, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: These talks were a hopeful precursor to another summit with Trump and Kim Jong-un, after February's meeting in Hanoi left the leaders empty-handed and back to square one at the negotiating table. This week, North Korea fired at least 1 suspected submarine-launched ballistic missile for the first time since 2016.

Go deeperArrowOct 5, 2019