The revolutionary and world famous K-pop boy band BTS is all set to perform mandatory military service starting with the oldest member Jin, according to the band's agency.
Kim Seok-jin — BTS band member— who is currently 29 years old is obligated to join the army after he turns 30 on December 4 this year. This translates to nearly two years out of the public eye.
“Jin will cancel the request to delay enlistment in late October 2022 and follow the Military Manpower Administration’s relevant procedures for enlistment. All other members will also serve the mandatory military duty according to their respective plans,” BTS' management group HYBE stated.
The second-oldest member Min Yoon-ki is due to be enlisted in 2024 under a revised law.
BTS announced a break in June which raised questions about the band’s future.
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” HYBE-owned Bighit Music, which manages BTS, said in a separate statement.
The official statement read, "BIGHIT MUSIC is proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfill their military service. After the phenomenal concert to support Busan's bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavors, it's the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve."
"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. BIGHIT MUSIC has focused on 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. Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans. Both, the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment," it continued.
"With the release of their first anthology album earlier this year, it opened the path to allow the members to take some time to explore individual projects. As part of the HYBE family, we support and encourage our artists and are beyond proud that they will each now have time to explore their unique interests and do their duty by being of service to the country they call home," it concluded.
[공지] 방탄소년단 병역 이행 및 향후 활동 계획 안내 (+ENG/JPN/CHN) pic.twitter.com/jntF90agO4— BIGHIT MUSIC (@BIGHIT_MUSIC) October 17, 2022
For the unversed, all healthy and able men in South Korea aged between 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for months as part of efforts to defend against nuclear-armed North Korea. Some categories have won exemptions or served shorter terms.
People who are exempted are released from the military after three weeks of basic training yet they are obliged to complete 544 hours of voluntary work. Some lawmakers had called for BTS to be exempted.
Military service for BTS band members has been subject of debate due to inequality and privilege being highly sensitive subjects.
South Korea's military earlier stated that it was "desirable" for BTS to be conscripted to ensure equality. The parliament in Seoul passed a bill to allow global K-pop stars to move the upper age for national service to 30.
On the professional front, BTS hosted the World Expo 2030 Busan Korea concert called BTS “Yet To Come” in Busan.
Pakistani currency remains momentum against US dollar in the open market on February 28, 2024 (Wednesday).
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