No exception for BTS from serving in military: What's next?
It was announced on Monday that the members of the K-pop megaband, BTS will serve in the South Korean military. This means that the band will not go on any new tours or perform as a group for the next few years. So, what does this announcement mean to the band, its fans aka the ARMYs, and the South Korean economy?
Jin will be first BTS member to join military
In its latest announcement, BTS's agency HYBE announced that Jin will be the first band member to join the military. The agency added that Jin will start his service by the end of October, while other members will join when they are asked to join. To note, Jin is the oldest member of the group and will turn 30 this year in December.
When will we see them performing as a group next?
BigHit Music, part of HYBE Labels, announced on Monday that the band—which is also the first-ever K-pop group to rank No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart—and its members were "honored to serve" their country. The statement further added that the boys would reconvene as a group around 2025 as all the members would have served their service by then.
Will this affect the country's economy?
The Grammy-nominated K-pop band, which has RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook as its members has been proving to be a valuable source of income for the country. According to analysts, from 2014 to 2023, BTS would have contributed $29.1T to South Korea. The decision to not give them an exemption is surely going to affect the country's economy.
Who are all exempted from the law?
According to South Korean law, it's mandatory for able-bodied adult males to serve in the military for 18 months before turning 30. The country exempts international award-winning athletes and classical musicians from completing their service. In 2021, a few lawmakers proposed bills recommending the exemptions to be applied to a wider range of artists, including K-pop stars. But it sadly did not pass.