With the world's largest K-pop sensation, BTS, growing in age, ARMYs wonder about each member and their required enlistment to the South Korean military.
According to South Korean law, all men between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve in the military force for at least 18 months. There are exceptions to this law. People who are extremely sick or have a disability can opt for other options or an exemption. Similarly, some people with extraordinary skills can also be considered an exception, like an athlete who has won medals for the country.
Over the past few months, ARMY's speculated on whether their favorite boyband would have to enlist in the military or not.
With the eldest member, Jin, already 29, ARMYs are curious to know what will happen to the band if its members enlist in the military service.
HYBE Corporation public annoucement on BTS and their military enlistment
On April 9, 2022, HYBE Corporation’s CCO, Lee Jin-hyun, publicly declared the company and band's position on this topic. During the Permission To Dance The City – Las Vegas press conference, Lee Jin-hyun mentioned how they remain unaware regarding the required military enlistment. According to sources, Jin-hyun stated:
"BTS members have currently left the matter of their military service in the hands of the agency."
He then established the decision the band members made regarding the same.
"BTS has already conveyed the message multiple times that they will accept the call of duty when the nation calls them, and they have not changed that opinion."
He then stated that the agency is still unclear about the situation.
"However, the policy on military service has changed a little, and as the members are experiencing changes to the Military Service Act that they did not expect, they are currently monitoring the situation while discussing the matter with the company."
Ideally, the eldest member, Jin, is already due to enlist since he recently turned 29. However, due to an amendment in December 2020, it provided band members with the option to defer their military enlistment.
This amendment focused on the fact that individuals who work towards the upflitment of the national interest can deffer their mandated military enlistment.
Since they're the only boyband to be endowed with the Order of Cultural Merit, and the band has contributed to putting the nation of South Korea under the spotlight, they can deffer their enlistment.
There have been talks at the National Assembly that boybands like BTS should be exempt due to the contributions they have made to the nation. ARMYs from around the globe still hold hope that their favorite boybands will be exempted. They often express concern over the future of the band.
The agency and the band have made their stance clear. Despite this, everyone continues to anticipate what the future of the band will be.