28 Oct 2022

K-Pop stars denied entry to Marianas, friendship gig cancelled

9:22 am on 28 October 2022

Photo: Supplied

A group of South Korean pop artists set to perform at a free concert in the Northern Marianas this weekend were denied entry into the country.

The K-pop stars, which comprised Artist Korea, Ambition, MegaMax, Witches, Dustin, and MustB, were due to perform at the 2022 Saipan Tourism Fanival, which was intended to strengthen the friendship between Saipan and Seoul.

The event has now been cancelled.

However, the performers were not allowed to leave the airport as they only had tourist visas when they needed artist visas.

Korean citizens are usually allowed to enter the US visa-free, but this only applies to tourists.

Artist Korea is a b-boy performance group that won the National Assembly Award in South Korea; Dustin is a five-member boy group with powerful choreography and vocals; five members make up MustB, bringing different characteristics of their own; MEGAMAX, combining "MEGA" and "MAX," is a rookie artist that debuted last year; Witches is a global group with unique symbols and charms that can speak four languages-Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese; and each member of Ambition combines rapping, singing, and dancing in their performances.

Koreans are a massive part of the Northern Marianas tourism industry.

Now that international borders have reopened Koreans are flocking to the archipelago in their thousands, giving the country a massive economic boost.

Of the nearly 10,000 visitors who visited the islands this August, 8,100 were from South Korea.

About 8,100 of the tourists came from South Korea, up from only 94 in the same month a year earlier.