National Defense Commission to discuss BTS' military enlistment

All seven members of BTS  (Image via Big Hit Entertainment)
All seven members of BTS (Image via Big Hit Entertainment)
Paige Greene

BTS' military enlistment is one of the things that the ARMY has to deal with shortly. According to South Korea's Military Service Act, all members of BTS are required to enlist in the military for their mandatory two-year service. However, recent news from the National Defense Commission gave some hope to fans hoping that BTS members would be exempt from enlistment.

In 2020, an amendment to the act allowed Hallyu to start later, and members of BTS -- RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook -- were allowed to postpone their enlistment until 30. At the same time, other citizens were expected to complete their compulsory military service between 18 and 28 years of age.

Given that BTS member Jin is turning 30 this year, fans have been worried that the K-pop idol might enroll in the army.

BTS had to cancel its Map of Soul tour recently, given the wrath of the pandemic. With no clear news on when COVID-19 could be controlled, fans have been worried that they might not see all seven members on stage together.

A still of BTS members. (Image via Intagram/@ BTS.bighitofficial)
A still of BTS members. (Image via Intagram/@ BTS.bighitofficial)

What is the BTS Military Service Exemption Act?

In June 2021, National Assembly Member Yoon Sang Hyun proposed a secondary amendment to the Military Service Act. This amendment will allow individuals who have contributed to the upliftment of the country's stature internationally to be exempt from military service. The secondary amendment has been dubbed the "BTS Military Service Exemption Act" by the vernacular media.

A sub-committee is scheduled to discuss whether popular cultural artists can be included in the list of exemptions. This meeting is set to take place on Thursday, September 9.

If the sub-committee rules in favor of artists, Jin could be exempt from serving in the military. However, BTS members have always maintained that they consider it their responsibility to serve in the army as citizens of South Korea. They called it a "natural duty."

Fans react to the news of a possible second amendment

So far, the news has received a mixed reaction, with many commenting that fans who are not from Korea should not be commenting on this situation.

Few mentioned that they were ready for any outcome. Some have shown disdain towards the way BTS has been positioned in conversation with politicians and industry leaders.

Fans also responded to criticism about how BTS idols would be the only ones exempt under this amendment. They pointed out that BTS' contributions were on a different level than other acts. BTS fans called for other artists to push the boundary as much as BTS before criticizing their achievements.

Edited by Srijan Sen


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