U2 Meets South Korean President, Launches Blood Supply Delivery Service On Asia Tour

U2 Manila
AP Photo / Aaron Favila
– U2 Manila
U2 singer Bono, right, answers questions from reporters during the launching of the first blood by drone delivery service in the country at the Philippine Red Cross headquarters in suburban Mandaluyong, east of Manila, Philippines on Tuesday Dec. 10. Bono was in the country for a concert with his band U2 as part of their “The Joshua Tree Tour.”

U2 has taken no prisoners during its sold-out tour of Asia in December, leaving rave reviews and awestruck headlines in their wake. The response was probably the most enthusiastic in South Korea, which they played for the first time ever, at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Dec. 8. 

The next day, U2 frontman Bono met with South Korean President Moon Jai-in at the Blue House for 40 minutes. Moon praised U2’s potent blend of musical expression and advocacy for peace.
“The role of music and other culture and art in the path of peace is great,” said the president, according to Hankyoreh press. He also praised the band’s onstage statements about support for reunification of the Korean peninsula, as well as their special tribute to notable Korean women. Testimonies to female empowerment have been a sub-theme on the U2 tour, and has special meaning in South Korea, which, at the moment, is struggling with an image of unequal treatment for women. 
“I heard that you performed ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ as your opener and ‘One’ as your closing song,” Moon said. “I feel that they are songs with messages that I can really support as a Korean.” He elaborated by pointing out that it was on a Sunday that the Korean War broke out, and that the idea of “One” mirrors his desire for a unified Korea. 
Bono thanked Moon for his “many efforts and leadership … shown in the peace process. I’m also aware that you are approaching this with firm resolution to ensure that peace becomes a reality and not just a fantasy, which I respect.”
According to media reports, Bono himself had requested the meeting at the Blue House in order to share his “gratitude for the administration’s international contributions to disease eradication.” He presented Moon with a volume of poetry by the Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney signed by the author. It was from Bono’s own library. 
A couple of days later, Bono led the the announcement of a drone-based blood supply delivery service in the Philippines, a day after the band played the Philippine Arena.