Today, Big Hit Music held a press conference where BTS revealed the long awaited question; of whether the seven members of BTS would participate in South Korea’s mandatory military serivce.
Big Hit Music said the band’s oldest member, Jin (the band’s oldest member), will revoke his request to delay his conscription at the end of the month and undertake the required steps. The six other BTS members also plan to serve in the military and are “looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” the company said in a statement. In South Korea men are required to serve for 18 months as part of the country’s mandatory military service. The only people who are exempt in the past have been medal winning Olympic athletes. The South Korean government even pushed back the conscription date during the pandemic that determined the enlistment age. Many speculate it was a “BTS,” law to ensure Jin, as well as the other members had time to perform, given the enormity of presence the group has internationally. Any debate whether the group would be exempt has now come to a stop.
No further information on the timing of their service was given. The band members performed together in Busan over the weekend in support of the city’s EXPO bid, which will be their last concert as a group until they finish serving in the military, according to their label. Hybe Corp., the parent company of Big Hit, said in an email to The Associated Press that each member of the band for the time being will focus on individual activities scheduled around their military service plans.
While South Korea’s military for years had assigned enlisted entertainers to duties related to producing radio and TV material promoting the military, the “entertainment soldier” system was retired in 2013 following complaints over fairness.