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DUBAI: K-pop megastars BTS told fans they were taking a break from the supergroup to focus on their solo careers, citing exhaustion and the pressures of stratospheric success in a moving video appearance – and Arab fans flooded social media platforms in light of the news.

The Grammy-nominated septet’s label HYBE backtracked on Wednesday as its share price plummeted, telling AFP the pop juggernaut would still work together.

The seven members of BTS, credited with generating billions of dollars for the South Korean economy, dropped the bombshell on Tuesday, telling fans they were “exhausted” and needed some time apart.

“We are now entering a de-energized phase,” Suga, 29, said speaking Korean to his comrades at a group dinner, a video of which was posted on the group’s official YouTube channel.

The clip included English subtitles, which used the word “hiatus”, but HYBE quickly disputed this, saying the group’s activities would not be suspended.

“They will do team projects and individual projects simultaneously,” a representative of the label, whose share price fell 27% on Wednesday morning, told AFP.

In the video, RM, 27, said they were “exhausted” and “didn’t know what kind of band we were anymore.”

“The problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature,” he said, referring to southern music’s notoriously tough business model. -Korean.

“Somehow it became my job to be a rapping machine,” he said, adding that it made him feel “trapped.”

“I wanted to get rid of that for a while, but the world didn’t want me to be.”

Jimin, 26, said the members are “slowly trying to figure things out now.”

“I think that’s why we’re going through a tough time right now, trying to find our identity and it’s an exhausting and long process.”

By the end of the dinner, several of the band members behind “Dynamite” and “Butter” were left in tears as they expressed their gratitude for their supporters, a fandom known online as “ARMY.”

J-Hope, 28, said the group “should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again”.

“I hope you don’t see that this is a negative thing,” the artist implored. “And make sure it’s a healthy plan.”

“It’s not that we’re breaking up – we’re just living apart for a while,” Suga said.

24-year-old Jungkook said, “We promise that we will one day come back even more mature than we are now,” and asked for a “blessing” from the fans.

Online reaction from the band’s Arab fans was tearful but encouraging, with tens of thousands of comments quickly posted on Twitter.

“I was studying and took a break from Tik Tok. I read that BTS broke up and I don’t know why I started crying,” one fan tweeted, while another said: “It’s good that BTS is taking a break to rest, but I didn’t like everyone having a solo and they won’t be back as a group for a while…it’s sad, I swear .

“Thing is, even though BTS needs this break, some army pages here too: translators, chart pages…even fanbases,” one user tweeted. “They’re constantly working to pump out content for all of us, so hopefully with that they can find a balance or even pick up some things they’ve been holding back.”

Another fan tried to comfort fans by saying, “BTS won’t break up or take a break. They will work on their individual and collective projects, but the main focus will be on their individual work, and only for a certain time.

BTS said they took short breaks before, first in 2019 and later in December 2021.

The news comes just days after the band released ‘Proof’, an anthology album that included a new single, ‘Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)’.

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