BTS members can join military late, South Korea passes law
BTS, the Korean pop sensation, has been given a satisfying respite. The septet, which achieved its first Grammy 2020 nomination as best pop/duo/group performance with the smash hit single Dynamite, has been given an allowance by South Korean law to join the army when they reach their 30s. Normally, upon reaching 28, every able-bodied man in the country must enlist themselves in the military.
The youth are mandated to serve the army for 18-22 months as part of the country's conscription system, preparing against any attack by its neighboring, nuke-enabled dictatorial regime of North Korea. Female participation in this system isn't necessary but they can enlist. This means that each BTS member, who are currently in their 20s, except Jin, would have to leave music during this service.
The respite was brought over by an amended bill, which was placed in September after BTS made its mark in the Billboard Hot 100 with Dynamite. The new Military Services Act allows K-pop stars of exceptional popularity to apply for the deferment of military practice, which then would be recommended by the Ministry of Culture. But it's still difficult for BTS to continue for long.
Lining up BTS members by age, the sequence of military enlistment is Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, the youngest one, who is 23 years old. Jin turned 28 on December 4 and has already earned relaxation till before the end of 2021 for military enlistment because of an online enrolment in a graduate program, which legally allows a one-year delay.
Meanwhile, Jeon Yong-gi, co-sponsor of the bill, informed, "Pop artists tend to make their highest achievements in their 20s but many of them had to pursue a graduate degree to delay their service," and this is what Jin has done. However, joining the military is inevitable. "Someday when duty calls, we will be ready to respond and do our best," Jin had said.