BTS: Members will be doing military service, agency says

Seoul, South Korea –

Members of K-pop band BTS will perform mandatory military service under South Korean law, their management agency said on Monday, effectively ending the debate over exemptions. for their artistic achievements.

Big Hit Music said the band’s oldest member, Jin, will cancel his request to postpone his enlistment at the end of the month and take the required steps to apply. Six other members also plan to serve in the military, according to the company’s announcement to financial regulators, which the company describes as management-related information that could influence decisions. invest.

Big Hit released another statement on Twitter, saying the company and BTS members “look forward to being reunited as a group again around 2025 in accordance with their commitment to service.”

No further information on the timing of their service has been given. The band members performed together in Busan over the weekend to support the city’s EXPO bid, which will be their last concert as a group until they fulfill their obligations. military, according to their firm.

“Each BTS member for the time being will focus on their individual activities based on their plans to serve in the military,” Hybe Corp., Big Hit’s parent company, said in an email to The Associated Press. .

The announcement comes after Lee Ki Sik, a commissioner of the Army’s Manpower Administration, told lawmakers this month that the BTS members would “desire” to complete their military service in order to fulfill their obligations. ensure fairness in the military service of the country.

After enlistment, Jin and the other BTS members will receive five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific units and missions, according to officials at the Army Manpower Administration, who emphasized that singers would go through the same process as other Korean men.

While the South Korean military has for many years tasked enlisted artists with the production of radio and television materials promoting the army, the “entertainment soldiers” system was discontinued in 2014. 2013 after complaints about fairness.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-Sup said in August that if the BTS members join the military, they will likely be allowed to continue training and return with the group for overseas tours.

Whether or not BTS members have to serve in the military has been a hotly debated issue in Korea as Jin faces enlistment early next year. Jin will turn 30 in December, the age at which men can no longer delay enlistment. The other members are now between 25 and 29 years old, with Suga turning 30 in March.

According to Korean law, most fit men are required to serve 18-21 months of military service, but outstanding athletes and artists in certain international competitions are associated with prestige. countries have been specially exempted.

The band – whose other members are J-Hope, RM, Jungkook, V, and Jimin – debuted in 2013 and have a global army of supporters who call themselves the “Army”.

After building a huge following in Asia, BTS has expanded their popularity in the West with the 2020 megahit “Dynamite”, the band’s first all-English song that has become first K-pop song to top Billboard’s Hot 100. The band performed in sold-out arenas around the world and was even invited to speak at United Nations meetings.

Since the Korean draft disrupts young men’s professional or academic careers, evading military service or facilitating exemptions is a very sensitive issue. Opinion surveys in recent weeks show that the public is divided over whether BTS members should serve in the military.


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