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Media & Entertainment

BTS hiatus reveals soft underbelly of K-pop industry

South Korea's talent agencies caught off guard by bombshell announcement

BTS members at the Grammy Awards in April at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of Hybe)

SEOUL -- When BTS sent shock waves around the world by saying they were going on hiatus, the K-pop industry as a whole was shook as the announcement exposed fissures lurking beneath the glossy veneer of the idol business.

"Somehow, it's become my job to be a rapping machine," BTS leader RM said Tuesday in a video posted on the group's YouTube channel, which boasts 67.9 million subscribers. "Right now, we've lost our sense of direction. I just want to take some time to think and then return."

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