South Korea`s National Assembly, excited by BTS`s global success, came to Kim`s aid by passing a revision of the country`s military service law. The revised law allows big K-pop stars like Kim to postpone their military service until age 30. Mr. Kim, known by his stage name Jin, will now be able to perform for two more years at the peak of his career. The new conscription exemptions for K-pop stars are somewhat similar to those that have been in place for South Korean athletes for decades: Under these rules, athletes who win medals at the Olympics or Asian Games will be spared service because their achievements are considered a national prestige. In addition, some classical and folk musicians who win certain awards receive exceptions. Recent polls suggest that South Koreans support a pardon for BTS. A private poll earlier this year found that 60 percent of respondents supported a military exemption for BTS members, according to the AP. All South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve in the country`s military for at least 18 months. This harsh fact has been hanging over the head of the ARMY virtually since BTS launched nearly a decade ago, any more than it is now, when the oldest member Jin, 29, faces conscription in December. Although the country allows some elite athletes and classical musicians to avoid mandatory military use, there are currently no similar exceptions for pop artists. Under the previous rule, all able-bodied South Korean men had to serve in the military for about 20 months after reaching the age of 28, if not earlier. The bill`s passage comes just days before Kim Seok-jin, BTS`s oldest member, turns 28 on Dec.
4. With the release of their first anthology album earlier this year, the way was opened for members to take the time to explore individual projects. As a member of the HYBE family, we support and encourage our artists and are beyond proud that they now have time to explore their unique interests and fulfill their duty in serving the country they call home. In addition to their economic impact, they were also friends with the South Korean government and participated in state-sponsored shows and events. All members of the group were sworn in as presidential envoys and received diplomatic passports before addressing the United Nations for the second time in 2021. But after years of indecision and back and forth from government officials, many fans are speculating that the band is choosing to come forward on its own terms rather than wait for a final decision. In a country that has super-powerful neighbors like China and Russia, as well as a sword-rattling North Korea, many people believe that conscription serves as a social balance and that any attempt to find an easy way out has suspended or ruined the careers of many artists and other public figures. BTS`s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin — commonly known as Jin — is the first member of the seven-piece group to turn 30 in December. Public debate over the group`s military service has raged for months, with lawmakers and the public remaining divided on the issue. Compulsory military service for the group, as well as for Korean pop stars in general, has divided the country in recent years as the popularity of K-pop has increased worldwide. While many, including some lawmakers, say musicians` contribution to the country`s global recognition should qualify them as an exception, others, including the Defense Ministry, have rejected the decision. The move will be an early birthday present for Jin, BTS`s oldest member, who is just days away from his 28th birthday.
According to the revised Military Service Law, „a pop culture artist recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism for significantly improving Korea`s image both in the country and in the world“ can postpone his service until the age of 30. All South Korean men must register before the age of 28 and serve for at least 18 months. BTS`s oldest member, Jin, was originally scheduled to be enlisted by December 2020. However, the South Korean government created a new exception just three days before the artist`s 28th birthday. The so-called „BTS Act“ allows K-pop stars who have been awarded South Korean Hwagwan Cultural Merit Orders to apply to postpone their military service until the age of 30. Whether BTS members will serve in the military has been hotly debated in South Korea, as Jin faces possible recruitment early next year. Jin turns 30 in December, the age at which men can no longer postpone conscription. The other members are currently between 25 and 29 years old, with Suga turning 30 in March. While seasoned K-pop fans are no strangers to recruiting their favorite male idols, bands have taken different approaches to recruiting in the past. Some have taken longer breaks during which members build solo careers, while others have remained active and promoted as groups or sub-units, while some members have been absent. Notable idols currently in service include Baekhyun from EXO and Taemin from SHINee. The oldest member of the BTS was rescued at the last minute from being forced to join the army as part of the country`s conscription system.
Last week, they became the first K-pop group to receive a Grammy nomination. Her latest hit Dynamite was nominated alongside stars such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. Jin will begin the process once his schedule for his solo release is completed at the end of October. He will then follow the Korean government`s recruitment process. Other members of the band plan to do their military service based on their own individual plans,“ BigHit Music said in the statement. He added that the group will meet again around 2025 once their respective projects are completed. After building a large following in Asia, BTS expanded its popularity in the West with its 2020 megahit „Dynamite,“ the group`s first all-English song that made them the first K-pop group to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The band has performed to sold-out audiences around the world and has even been invited to speak at United Nations meetings. Are „dirty idols“ too good for the military service everyone has to do at their age? The BTS army can decide.
„We have always been aware of the possibility of conscription, and we have made extensive preparations to be ready for this moment,“ Park wrote. „In the short term, individual activities are planned for many of the members through the first half of 2023, and we have secured content in advance that will allow BTS to continue its engagement with fans for the foreseeable future.“ The group – its other members are J-Hope, RM, Jungkook, V and Jimin – was formed in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves „Army“. While many fans were shocked by the surprise announcement, there is no doubt that BTS` loyal ARMY will be eagerly awaiting the band`s return in 2025. The announcement ended with a promise to fans, citing the band`s latest single, „Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment),“ which „will promise many more BTS in the coming years.“ „Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)“ is more than a track from their latest album, it`s a promise, there`s a lot more to come from BTS in the years to come.