BTS military enlistment saga: Here's everything you need to know
Global sensation BTS is breaking records every day but a non-musical issue has kept their fans, the ARMYs, worried. And that is about the septet's military enlistment. Every able-bodied male in South Korea is mandated to enlist in the military. But the government has been pondering whether to exempt BTS from this rule. Now, this discussion has sparked debate in the country's National Assembly.
Why does this story matter?
Firstly, during military service, one cannot continue with their other professional commitments. So, BTS won't be able to release music or perform for the two years its members stay away. Considering this, the Korean government had exempted them from the maximum enlistment age rule earlier, allowing them to enlist after turning 30. In June, the Korean Culture Ministry hinted this postponement might get extended.
Recently, septet applied for deferment in enlistment
Speaking to the media, in June, Minister of Culture Hwang Hee said then they would "definitely recommend" the service postponement application if the Boy In Luv singers ever send one. Recently, the group has applied for deferment. Amid all this, a subcommittee of the South Korean National Assembly's defense panel has found itself at a standstill discussing whether to exempt BTS from enlistment altogether.
BTS will be exempted if Military Service Act is revised
The Permission To Dance crooners will get exempted if the Military Service Act gets revised. Then, the boyband won't have to take up active-duty service for 18-22 months. Instead, they'll be able to work in music while serving for 34 months under some alternative program. Now, the ruling and opposition parties are divided on the call to revise the act, reported The Korea Herald.
Decision must arrive before next year when Jin turns 30
But where's the conflict? As per a subcommittee official, the discussion has become heated and they need public opinion before making any decision. "We cannot help but consider situational variables when it comes to revising the bill," said the Defense Ministry's spokesperson. Jin, BTS's oldest member, turns 30 next year, which is the age limit for enlistment. So, a decision needs to arrive soon.