BTS may be able to perform while on military duty, says South Korean Defense Minister

BTS members pose at the press conference of Permission to Dance on stage (Image via BIG HIT MUSIC)
BTS members pose at the press conference of Permission to Dance on stage (Image via BIG HIT MUSIC)

BTS may be getting a special military exemption. On August 1, Lee Jong-sup, the minister of the National Defense of South Korea, stated that the government is discussing giving BTS a special military service exemption.

He said that BTS members can set an example for society by serving in the military and fulfilling their national duties and can also fly overseas for their tours and concerts when required.

"After consideration, the ministry of national defense has concluded the department can help them practice and perform for the national gains without violating the principles of fairness and equality."

The above statement was made during Monday’s parliamentary session where they discussed giving BTS a special exemption instead of a complete exemption.

"We're mulling the issue from various sides, but as of now, we're considering within the options of alternative military service."

BTS rekindle debate about mandatory military service amongst netizens

For the unversed, according to South Korea's mandatory military service law, all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to serve in the country's military for at least 20 months unless there are special exemptions.

There has been a roaring debate regarding BTS’ mandatory military service for years now in the Korean media and the Bangtan members had to clarify through an official statement that if and when the right time comes, they will not hesitate to serve the nation and enlist in the military.

Currently, athletes who win a medal at the Olympics or the Gold medal at the Asian Games are exempted from mandatory military service.

When asked if pop artists like BTS should be given an exemption or not, minister Lee Jong-sup commented that these issues need to be tackled sensitively with an ethical approach to the matter.

"Granting exemptions to the pop artists may shake the overall grounds of the alternative service system so we're approaching it carefully."

BTS members legally deferred military service until the age of 30 when the amendment to the Military Service Act was promulgated in June last year.

However, being the oldest member of the group, Jin will be required to enlist by the end of this year under the current military service law unless an additional amendment passes.

Bangtan's military service is a hugely controversial debate in South Korea. While a section of fans believe that Bangtan members must enlist, others feel they should be given a special exemption for the national glory they bring to South Korea.

However, as always, ARMY has some of the most hilarious reactions to minister Lee Jong-sup’s comments:

A South Korean think tank estimated in 2018 that Bangtan members would bring an economic benefit totalling 56 trillion won ($43 billion) between 2014 and 2023.

BTS’ ON Kinetic Manifesto Film becomes their fourteenth MV to hit 500 million views


Bangtan members have another winner in their kitty.

On July 31 at 9 pm KST, Bangtan's ON Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima surpassed 500 million views on YouTube, making it their fourteenth music video to do so following the likes of Boy With Luv, Dynamite, Butter and Permission to Dance among others.

ON has two versions and the Kinetic Manifesto film version was released on February 21, 2020, at 6 pm KST, meaning that it took the video just over two years, five months, and 10 days to reach the milestone.

ON is the title track of Bangtan's magnum opus album MAP OF THE SOUL: 7. The song was accompanied by nineteen other tracks during its release, including Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey), Dionysus, Black Swan, We are Bulletproof: the Eternal and more.

Bangtan members are currently on a break from group activities. Members are busy with their solo activities.

j-hope released his second album, Jack in the Box, last month, and recently performed at Lollapalozza Chicago. Other members, including RM, V, and Jung Kook, have confirmed on their personal Instagram accounts that they are actively working on releasing solo music.

Quick Links

Edited by Somava