The issue of mandatory military enlistment of South Korean men has been discussed and debated over and over again by ARMYs online, especially as the members of BTS are getting closer to the age of conscription.
Under current law, all able-bodied South Korean men, between the ages 18-28, have to serve in the military for a period of about two years. The South Korean conscription law allows exemptions for international award- or medal-winning athletes and classical musicians. Over the years, fans of BTS and several lawmakers have appealed to the National Assembly to consider the band for an exemption to the conscription law because of their extraordinary contribution to elevating the country’s global standing. Last November, an amendment to the law was passed that allowed BTS members to defer their enlistments till they turn 30.
The group’s oldest member, Jin, had, therefore, postponed his military enlistment until later this year but talks of further amendments have begun in the National Assembly, causing concern over the future of the band.
Before Day 2 of their ongoing Las Vegas concert series, members of the band, including Jin, RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, held a press conference at the MGM Grand Hotel.
Responding to a question about his upcoming enlistment, Jin revealed that there’s a lot of talk and discussion happening around the pending military service within their company and he would defer to whatever the company decides in the end.
COO of HYBE, their parent company, Lee Jin-hyung addressed the issue at the press con, saying, “The members themselves are finding it difficult to deal with the issue as it is impossible to predict the exact point of enlistment and this troubles them as they try to make plans. The firm and the artists are following the issue very closely, and we will try our best so that it ends in a direction that benefits both the artists and our society.”
He also urged the lawmakers to finalise the amendment soon as the issue has started getting international attention and the discussions have been going on without any concrete conclusion for a long time.
For now, fans are eagerly waiting for the band’s comeback, which has been heavily hinted at over the past few months, and could possibly feature collaborations with icons like Snoop Dogg and Silk Sonic (at least according to fervent fan speculations!).
- Quick links