South Korean government official is pushing for BTS to be exempted from the country’s military service
BTS members may soon be clear about mandatory military service in South Korea.
The country currently requires all able-bodied men to serve approximately two years before turning 30 – and with BTS’s oldest member nearing the milestone birthday, a government official is fighting for K -pop are exempt.
Hwang Hee, South Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, argued at a press briefing on Wednesday that pop stars like BTS have promoted their country’s image abroad, and this should be considered a sufficient act of service to exempt them from having to serve in the military.
“It’s time to create a system to integrate popular culture and art personalities as artistic personnel,” Hwang said, according to Yonhap News Agency. “The [exemption] system has been significantly exploited to give those who have improved the national status on the basis of their excellent skills more chances to contribute to the country, and there is no reason that the field of art and popular culture is excluded. I thought someone should be a responsible voice at a time when there are conflicting pros and cons before some BTS members enlisted.”
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic BTS
Military law was amended in 2020 to raise the age limit from 28 to 30.
Hwang would push to pass legislation through parliament that would formalize the exemptions, which are already in place for other exceptional citizens, such as Olympic athletes and top classical musicians. He would have encountered opposition, especially from men who have already had their day.
Jin, the oldest member of BTS, turns 30 in December. His bandmates, though younger, are also approaching the deadline; Suga is 29, J-Hope is 28, RM is 27, Jimin and V are 26, and Jungkook is 24.
RELATED: Lizzo Reveals Friendship With BTS’s J-Hope: ‘He’s A Great Texter’ That ‘Don’t Let You Read’
“I think the country kind of said to me, ‘You do it well, and we’ll give you a little more time,'” Jin said. rolling stone final year of the 2020 amendment.”[Military service] is an important duty for our country. So I feel like I’m going to try to work as hard as I can and do my best until I get called up.”
He added that if called to serve he will be “sad” but will “look [BTS] on the Internet and encourage them.”
V, meanwhile, told RS that the group hadn’t “discussed [military service] in the details”, but was “sure that it would eventually work out”.
The band recently announced their new album Proof will be released on June 10.