South Korea’s military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men and women, with a required length of two years. However, the country has recently seen an increase in public criticism of its conscription policies, especially on social media where many young people are sharing their experiences of being drafted.
BTS has been asked if they have to do military service. The answer is no, but it is not clear what will happen in the future.
BTS has been given permission to postpone their military duty thus far, but will they be granted an exemption? (EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock/Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock)
Chart-topping BTS is a worldwide musical powerhouse, having become the best-selling musicians in South Korean history and being the first all-South Korean act to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with their single Dynamite.
With Savage Love, Life Goes On, Butter, and Permission to Dance, the band has added four more US number one singles since the release of Dynamite in August 2020, making them the quickest artist to achieve five number ones in the US since Michael Jackson.
Jin, 28, Suga, 28, J-Hope, 27, RM, 26, V, 25, Jimin, 25, and Jungkook, 24, have also been nominated for Grammy and Brit Awards, as well as six American Music Awards and nine Billboard Music Awards.
BTS has two number one albums in the United Kingdom, with Map of the Soul: Persona and Map of the Soul: 7 topping the charts in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Fans, on the other hand, are curious as to how (and when) BTS’ home country’s military enrollment would impact the group.
Is BTS obligated to serve in the military?
Jin is the oldest member of BTS, having turned 29 in December (Picture: EPA)
All able-bodied South Korean males between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for eighteen months to two years, depending on the branch of the forces they join.
As of now, every member of BTS is in that age range, with Jin and Suga, both 28 years old, at the top.
However, following BTS’s (and South Korea’s) first US number one with Dynamite in August 2020, the Korean National Assembly’s Defense Commission approved a revision to the Military Service Act allowing acclaimed pop artists who have contributed to the elevation of Korea’s global reputation to defer military service.
With Butter, BTS maintained their worldwide chart dominance in May. (Picture: EPA)
The law, proposed by Democratic Party member Jeon Yong-gi and approved by the National Assembly plenary session in December, allows BTS members and ‘globally recognized’ pop artists to postpone their enlistments until they reach the age of 30.
Suga will be 30 on March 9, 2023, while Jin will turn 30 on December 4, 2022.
As one of the most well-known K-pop groups in history, BTS satisfies the bill’s criteria for delay by contributing to the country’s economy and promoting its culture.
In South Korea, who is excused from military service?
BTS may be eligible for an exemption. (Image courtesy of Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock/Shutterstock)
Women are allowed to enroll, although it is not required.
Only globally successful sports and classical musicians were originally granted exemptions or deferrals.
After winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games, Tottenham Hotspur player Son Heung-min was granted an exemption, although he was had to undergo obligatory basic military training, which he completed in May 2020.
Cho Seong-jin, an award-winning pianist, was also given an exemption.
Today, however, South Korea’s National Defense Commission is said to be considering whether to classify famous cultural artists as exempt from military duty through proposed changes to the Military Service Act.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images/Son Heung-min in play for South Korea’s national football squad.
BIGBANG members T.O.P., G-Dragon, Taeyang, and Daesung were among the previous K-pop artists to take time off for national conscription, while SHINee’s Key and Minho, 2AM’s Jinwoon, and VIXX’s N were among the 2019 cohort.
All must, however, deal with the fast-paced music business and the possibility of a drop in popularity upon their return, something South Korea may be hoping to prevent in the case of BTS.
Jin earlier said that the BTS members were prepared to be summoned.
‘As a Korean, it’s natural, and when duty calls, we’ll be ready to react and give our best,’ he told CBS.
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BTS has been admitted into the Guinness World Records Hall of Fame for breaking 23 records.
MORE: Elton John is very modest about being mentioned in a BTS song: “It blows my mind.”
The what happens in korean military service is a question that many people have been asking. BTS has not said anything about the issue, but it is possible that they may be exempt from having to do military service as they are under 18 years old.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BTS exempt from military service?
BTS is exempt from military service because they are a group of artists.
How long does BTS have to serve in the military?
The duration of the BTSs service varies depending on their age and rank.
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