BTS: will K-pop band members do military service in South Korea, despite fans calling for their exemption?

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BTS’ music label has confirmed that all seven members of the boy band are going to fulfil their mandatory military service

BTS announced that they will fulfil their mandatory military service in South Korea before reuniting in 2025 following their commitment.

It comes as their record label, Big Hit Music, confirmed that all seven members of the K-Pop boy band will be honoured to serve their country in the wake of performing for the first time in six months.

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The group, also known as Bangtan Boys, came together on 15 October to perform their recent single ‘Yet to Come’ in Busan, South Korea, to support the city’s bid for the World Expo 2030 and showcase songs from their latest anthology album ‘Proof’.

BTS is known for their hit songs such as Butter and Dynamite (Pic:Getty)BTS is known for their hit songs such as Butter and Dynamite (Pic:Getty)
BTS is known for their hit songs such as Butter and Dynamite (Pic:Getty) | WireImage

Big Hit Music revealed that their conscription comes at the perfect time following the free concert and as each individual band member “embarks on solo endeavours.”

In a Twitter statement, they said: “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.

“Group member Jin [who is about to turn 30], will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans.”

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BTS member Jin is about to turn 30 and will sign on to the military first out of the group (Pic:Getty)BTS member Jin is about to turn 30 and will sign on to the military first out of the group (Pic:Getty)
BTS member Jin is about to turn 30 and will sign on to the military first out of the group (Pic:Getty) | GC Images

The band, who formed over ten years ago, includes members Jung Kook, Jimin, V, Suga, RM, j-hope and Jin, and has risen to international success while also becoming the most successful South Korean musicians in history.

The Butter singers have sold over 30 million records but are expected to serve for their country in line with the law that states that all able-bodied men must serve 18-21 months by the age of 28.

However, earlier this year a poll revealed that 60% of South Koreans felt the K-Pop band should be exempt from military service for their work in music and adding to the country’s economy.

BTS has won multiple awards including Billboard and MTV Music video (Pic:Getty)BTS has won multiple awards including Billboard and MTV Music video (Pic:Getty)
BTS has won multiple awards including Billboard and MTV Music video (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images

At present, only elite athletes such as Olympians, and winners of music or artistic awards are exempt.

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It must be noted that group member Jin had already been granted the chance to defer his enlistment until he was 30 years old after the country’s parliament revised the law in 2020.

Now, the South Korean government is consulting the public to see whether they should rule all BTS members as exempt from military service due to the band’s economic effect and national interest.

According to an Asian financial newspaper, public views are split on the band’s future.

Nikkei Asia reported that an office worker in Seoul said: “‘BTS is making a great contribution to our economy. Its members should receive an exemption to continue their activities.”

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While a graduate student contradicted: “Should anyone be treated differently just because he or she had a successful career? It is unfair to use vague criteria.”

Tottenham Hotspur’s forward Son Heung Min was ruled exempt from military service in South Korea due to his sporting efforts (Pic:Getty)Tottenham Hotspur’s forward Son Heung Min was ruled exempt from military service in South Korea due to his sporting efforts (Pic:Getty)
Tottenham Hotspur’s forward Son Heung Min was ruled exempt from military service in South Korea due to his sporting efforts (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images

If the seven BTS members are found to be suitable for exemption, the South Korean singers would join the likes of Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-Min who was ruled exempt after winning gold at the Asian Games in 2018.

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