11 August 2023

South Korea throws K-Pop concert for Scouts after storm disrupted Jamboree

11 August 2023

South Korea has thrown a huge K-Pop concert in Seoul for 40,000 Scouts whose global Jamboree was disrupted by the weather.

Friday’s concert at a football stadium featured various performers, including girl groups NewJeans and Ive.

The show was quickly put together by government officials as the closing event of the World Scout Jamboree.

It came as the country began to clean up and make repairs in the aftermath of the storm, Khanun, which pounded the country’s southern and eastern regions with intense rains and winds that forced thousands to evacuate and left at least one person dead after making landfall early on Thursday.

Khanun had weakened by the time it arrived in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area on Thursday night, and it blew into North Korea early on Friday as a tropical depression.

The Jamboree was held at a coastal campsite before Khanun forced mass relocation efforts to house the Scouts in university dormitories, government and corporate training centres and hotels in the greater Seoul region and nearby areas.

Even before the storm effectively cut the Jamboree short, organisers struggled to continue the event in the face of punishing heat wave and hygiene problems that led thousands of British and Americans Scouts to leave the campsite early.

Those pullouts were a huge public relations setback for a country that continuously seeks the recognition huge international events bring. Friday’s concert came after frantic government efforts to give the Jamboree a proper ending.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said in a speech before the concert at the Seoul World Cup Stadium: “We are sorry about the difficulties Scouts experienced in the face of an unprecedented heat wave and typhoon triggered by climate change.”

He did not get much attention from the huge crowds of global scouts packing the seats in multicoloured uniforms and raincoats, who roared in excitement and made waves rising in sequence around the stadium as Mr Han read out his statement.

The Scouts cheered enthusiastically as the singers began performing on a brightly illuminated stage amid light rain, waving heart-shaped light sticks and filming with their phones.

Government officials said most commercial flights and train services had resumed and power was mostly restored to some 46,000 households that had been knocked out of electricity as Khanun blew through the country.

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