BTS Military public survey poll indicates 54% of South Korean citizens prefer the K-pop superstars serve in the military

BTS members pose together (Image via Twitter/@agustranda)
BTS members pose together (Image via Twitter/@agustranda)

The discourse surrounding BTS’ mandatory military service is only increasing by the day. After much brouhaha, another public survey was conducted wherein 54 percent of South Koreans voted in favor of BTS members going into the military.

On September 4, Korean media outlet Straight News conducted a public survey regarding BTS' mandatory military service in partnership with consulting company Jowon CNI.

1001 South Korean citizens participated in the survey and cast their votes. The final results revealed that 40.1 percent of the respondents were in favor of the K-pop superstars getting a special military exemption, while 54.1 percent voted against the military exemption.

BTS ARMY react to Straight News conducting a public survey on the K-pop juggernauts’ military service

The survey was conducted amongst a large group of participants divided between men and women. A more detailed analysis of the public survey about BTS’ mandatory military service exemption showed that 50.3 percent of the respondents who voted against the exemption were women, on the other hand, a larger percentage of men, 58.1% voted against the exemption.

Also, a more surprising fact is that 73.2 percent of respondents in their 20s voted against the exemption. 60.4 percent of Korean citizens in their 30s voted against the exemption, followed by 49.4 percent in their 40s, 48.3 percent of Korean citizens in their 50s, and 47.5 percent in their 60s want BTS to serve in the military.

BTS ARMY took to social media to react to the survey results. Fans jumped to the idols’ defense citing that Bangtan members have done more than enough for their home country and are true ambassadors for South Korea.

Some fans even suggested an alternative of 18 to 20 months of military service for BTS.

International ARMYs are of the opinion that they should let the government make the right decision and let the law take its course.

Others are of the opinion that the government should just make a decision instead of relying on public surveys and respondents’ opinions.

Previously, the Korean Ministry of Defense announced that they would be holding a poll to decide if Bangtan should be given an exemption from military service.

Under an amendment passed in 2020, BTS members were granted a special deferment, which allows for musicians who have been awarded the Order of Cultural Merit to postpone their military enlistment until the age of 30.

If the government rules out Bangtan's military exemption, the group’s oldest member Jin will have to serve in the military by the end of the year as he turns 30 this year.

Previously, some classical musical artists and athletes were granted exemptions from mandatory military service for their contributions to the country. A lot of fans feel that Bangtan members have brought laurels to the nation and should be given an exemption as well.

However, on September 1, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sub announced that the government won’t be carrying out a public survey, inviting criticism from a lot of fans.

Fans have expressed their frustration with the government’s indecisiveness as mentioned above and requested that they make a decision sooner for Bangtan's as well as ARMYs betterment.

Meanwhile, mayor Park Heong-joon of Busan City proposed to the South Korean presidential office last month that BTS should be granted special allowance to serve an alternative form of military service. Mayor Heong-joon referred to the idols' duties as ambassadors for Busan’s bid to host the World City Expo in 2030 as a reason for the proposal.

Bangtan members were chosen by Busan government as honorary ambassadors to help South Korea win the bid for “the 2030 World Expo” for which the group is hosting a global concert in October.

BTS to now have their global concert in Busan’s Asiad stadium

HYBE finally heard all ARMYs pleas and decided to shift the venue for the group’s World Expo 2030 Busan Korea Concert to Asiad main stadium.

The venue was changed after weeks of raging protests from fans on the grounds of transportation, poor infrastructure, exorbitant hotel prices, lack of recreational facilities and logistical concerns.

Busan’s Asiad main stadium is a multi-purpose stadium built in 2002 and can easily house up to 100,000 attendees expected to attend the concert.

Bangtan’s concert will take place on October 15 at 6 pm KST (2:30 pm IST) at the Asiad stadium and will be jointly supported by the Busan Metropolitan City as well as the “2030 Busan World Expo” Bid Committee.

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Edited by Somava