It’s official — BTS will serve their mandatory military service. The K-pop group’s agency BigHit Music announced on 17 October that every member of the seven-member boy band will be entering military service, starting with Jin.
BTS is the world’s most famous Korean pop group and one of the biggest acts in the world of music since the Beatles. Besides Jin, the members of the group include RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Jungkook and V.
All the details about BTS enlisting for mandatory military service
Jin to be the first to join military service
In a statement, BigHit Music said that it is “proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfill their military service.”
“BigHit Music has focused on the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that’s now,” the statement read.
The agency said that Jin will become the first member to enlist in the military, which he will do after the conclusion of the schedule for his solo release.
[공지] 방탄소년단 병역 이행 및 향후 활동 계획 안내 (+ENG/JPN/CHN) pic.twitter.com/jntF90agO4
— BIGHIT MUSIC (@BIGHIT_MUSIC) October 17, 2022
BigHit Music said that the other six members will undertake their military roles “based on their own individual plans.”
According to the statement, BTS will be back as a group around 2025. This means that all members will possibly serve in the military concurrently.
BTS and the Korean conscription debate
The mandatory military service of the BTS members was a major topic of discussion in South Korea, where all able-bodied men between the ages of 18-35 must serve in the military for a period between 18 and 21 months.
Under the law, conscription can be put off until one attains the age of 28. In December 2020, the South Korean government passed a bill that granted an extension to K-pop icons and other musicians to postpone their mandatory military service till the age of 30.
Jin, the oldest member of the group, turns 30 on 4 December 2022.
The debate around the mandatory military service for BTS left both Korean society and lawmakers divided on whether or not to grant exemption to the world-famous boy band on the grounds of their achievements.
Under Korean law, the exemption is granted to athletes, classical and traditional musicians, as well as ballet and other dancers, who win top honours in competitions and bring prestige to the country.
(Main and Featured images: BTS_official/@bts_bighit/Twitter)