Fans all over the world are in shock and have wigged out as Big Hit Music recently announced that the global superstars, BTS, will perform their mandatory military service in South Korea. The decision comes after South Korea’s military signaled in recent weeks that it wanted to conscript members of the K-pop supergroup for mandatory service.
The time, fans never wanted to see, has come as the oldest member of the superhit South Korean boyband BTS, Jin, 30, will begin his mandatory military duties at the end of October. As per the statement issued by the K-pop band’s social media page,
“BIG HIT MUSIC is proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfill their military service”. They added, “After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavours, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve”.
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The exemptions from the South Korean Law do not apply to BTS
It is well known among everyone, especially the BTS fandom ARMY, that South Korean law requires all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 to 35 to serve in the country’s military for either 18, 20, or 21 months—for the army, navy, or air force respectively. The law, however, includes special exemptions for certain athletes and artists who represent the country on the global stage.
But the exemptions for artists only include classical and traditional musicians, and ballet and other dancers who have won top international competitions like the Olympics. This broke millions of hearts as this rules out the fan favorite BTS from availing the exemptions. The BTS members respect the laws of their country and therefore are looking forward to their upcoming military service.
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The oldest member of BTS, Jin, 30, to serve the country starting this October
Earlier this month, South Korea’s Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and its Military Manpower Administration Commissioner Lee Ki Sik said it would be “desirable” for the members of the group to fulfill their military service requirements to ensure fairness. Accordingly, the boy band representatives announced that the oldest member of the band, Jin, will be the first to serve, joining the service by the end of October, shortly before he turns 30 in December.
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Jin is expected to start the process to join the military as soon as the schedule for his solo release concludes by the end of October. The group’s agency said, “He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government.” After enlisting, Jin and other BTS members, just like any other able-bodied South Korean men, will receive five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific units and duties, according to officials at the Military Manpower Administration.
For the K-pop band BTS, what does its future entail?
The group’s seven members will all fulfill their requirement to serve and not seek any further delays or special exemptions, BigHit Music said in a statement. It said that the oldest member Jin will be the first to serve, with the k-pop icons to reconvene as a group again around 2025, after fulfilling their service commitment.
In June, the K-pop stars said they planned to “spend some time apart” and work on solo projects to show fans who they are as individual artists. However, a representative for the band quickly clarified that BTS is “not on hiatus” and would “remain active in various formats.” “Each BTS member for the time being will focus on their individual activities based on their plans to serve in the military,” Hybe Corp., the parent company of Big Hit, said in an email to The Associated Press.