All seven members of BTS, who have become global superstars over the past ten years, are required to fulfill their mandatory military service in South Korea.
The music agency released the following statement:
Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-pop into the global stratosphere.
Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men are expected to serve 18 to 21 months in the military to defend against the threat of North Korea, South Korea’s nuclear-armed neighbor.
The law allows special exemptions for athletes, musicians, and others who enhance the country’s prestige.
All seven BTS members were granted a two-year extension.
The oldest group member Jin (Kim Seok-Jin), who will turn 30 in December, faced possible enlistment starting early next year. Which divided the country over whether to let the beloved band delay further or skip the draft entirely.
Due to the draft forcing young men to suspend their professional careers or studies, the creation of exemptions or dodging military duties is a highly sensitive issue in South Korea.
According to the group’s agency, Jin is expected to start the process of joining the military at the end of October, as soon as the schedule for his solo release ends.
The agency said it has been waiting for 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.”
The commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, Lee Ki Sik, told lawmakers earlier this month it was “desirable” for BTS members to fulfill their military duties to ensure fairness.
Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup agrees, and he made similar comments in a parliamentary committee meeting.
BigHit Music says the other members of the group will start their military service on their own individual plans.
The group plans to reconvene around 2025 after fulfilling their military service commitment.