How BTS could avoid military service in South Korea

The men of BTS may still be able to get out of the military service required of all South Korean men.

According to South Korean law, all able-bodied men must complete approximately 18 months of military service between the ages of 18 and 28. Yonhap news agencyBusan City Mayor Park Heong-joon asked the presidential office to allow the seven members of BTS an option for military service, which is occasionally granted to the country’s high-profile athletes and classical artists.

Mayor Park suggested that global K-pop stars instead act as public relations ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo. According to Yonhap news agency, BTS’s “aggressive promotion” would give the city a leg up. .

“If BTS is allowed to serve as an alternative military service, its members will be assigned national duties as heavy as military service and serve the nation in their unique capacity,” Park said.

Military service is especially heavy on Jin, the oldest member of BTS (at 29 years old). Although most men must enlist at age 28, South Korea passed a revision to its military service law in 2018 that allowed K-pop stars to defer their service until they turn 30. (Jin turns 30 on December 4. )

Although the current service exemption only applies to elite athletes and classical musicians, South Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hwang Hee said in May that the rule should be expanded.

“It’s time to create a system to combine popular culture art characters into art staff,” Hwang said. “The system has been implemented in a meaningful way so that those who have highlighted their national status based on their excellent skills would be given more opportunities to contribute to the country, and there is no reason to leave the field of popular art and culture out of this.”

In 2019, the Ministry of Defense ruled the boy band would not have been released.

“Exempting pop culture artists from military service, even though they have contributed to the country’s reputation, is not in line with the government’s stance of defending justice and fairness,” the ministry said at the time. Reuters.

The news comes a few months after the BTS members said they were taking some time apart to focus on solo projects.

“I think we should spend time apart to learn to be one again,” J-Hope said at the group’s Festa dinner in June. “I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing, but see it as a healthy plan. I believe BTS will grow stronger this way.”

In the spirit of that mission, J-Hope exempt his solo album “Jack in the Box” in July, and then became the first Korean solo artist to headline Lollapalooza later that month. Suga and Jungkook have also said that they are working hard on their solo projects.

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