Politician Kim Young Bae puts forward bill for celebrities like BTS to serve alternative military duty

BTS at American Music Awards 2021 (Image via GETTY Images)

Assemblyman Kim Young-bae of the Democratic Party of Korea has proposed a law for global pop celebrities like BTS to serve alternative military duty instead of the compulsory one.

On Monday, September 19, Kim Young-bae, a South Korean lawmaker and activist, suggested a new bill that will allow pop celebrities with international recognition and fame to be allowed to choose different forms of military duties. The list will include celebrities who have received merits from the president, like BTS' Order of Cultural Merit, which they were awarded in 2018 by then president, Moon Jae-In.

The new proposal will also favor actors, athletes, directors, and classical musicians who have brought an international spotlight to the country.

As per The Korea Times, Assemblyman Kim Young-bae said:

“Korean pop celebrities active in the international field make unimaginable economic and social contributions."

Undoubtedly, the global impact of the Dynamite stars affects the South Korean economy enormously. As per reports, the septet adds roughly $3.5 billion to the nation's economy.

A new bill by South Korean councilman might allow BTS to serve alternative military duty

According to the proposal made by Kim Young-bae, impactful artists like BTS should be allowed to opt for alternative military duties. His recent proposal will carefully accept the contributions of such artists who help in strengthening the economy. The councilman noted:

“I believe pop celebrities will make important contributions to the national interest, including promoting a bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan, through doing alternative military service."

He also cited BTS' recent participation as ambassadors of Busan City as their way to actively serve South Korea's national interest. The boyband will headline a free concert on October 15, 2022, in Busan, to support its offer to host the 2030 World Expo.

Owing to their fame and popularity, the concert tickets were sold out in 15 minutes. However, to make it accessible and global, the concert will also be streamed online on the Weverse community.

If the bill gets passed, BTS will be more present to promote their activities as artists around the globe. The band has been provided with a special deferral since June 2021 that allows them to postpone their military enlistment to a maximum age of 28 to 30, on the grounds of them having received the Order of Cultural Merit.

Jin, the eldest member of the group, will turn 30 this December, which has once again prompted the topic of their military service among fans. Several discussions on the issue have been going on for a while now. However, no permanent decision has yet been announced by the government.

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Edited by Susrita Das
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