According to their agents, the biggest boy band in the world, BTS, will leave its fandom “army” and enlist in the South Korean military for national duty.
The decision puts an end to years of discussion about the K-pop artists’ potential exemption from military service.
Every man between the ages of 18 and 28 who is physically fit is required to serve two years.
The seven BTS members were permitted to delay their conscription until they were 30. Jin, the oldest, is now 29 years old.
The band’s management said on Monday that he will start preparing next month. According to the statement, all seven members of the gang, the youngest of whom is 24 years old, intending to complete their duty.
The main reason why South Korea still requires its citizens to serve in the military is that it technically remains at war with its neighbor and nuclear-armed North Korea.
The band had already been granted a deferral when, in 2020, a law was approved by the South Korean parliament permitting the best K-pop artists to postpone their obligations until the age of 30.
Just a few months ago, BTS said that they would be taking a vacation while some of the members worked on solo projects.
The K-pop group, known for bouncy, catchy songs like Dynamite and Butter, has been the best-selling artist in the world for the previous two years. They have also received accolades for their support of youths’ mental health.
Many South Koreans consider the band to be a national treasure, and several MPs had recommended that they be given an exemption so they could continue playing. Olympic medalists and other accomplished athletes, classical musicians, and dancers have all received such exemptions.
The band’s managers, however, claimed in a statement released on Monday that the musicians were happy to perform their obligations. According to their agency, Jin, who had first requested that his service start date be postponed, has withdrawn that request.
According to the announcement, the band probably wouldn’t reunite for at least a few years.
The management business of BTS released a statement saying, “Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.”
In August, when the band’s future was being discussed, the South Korean defense minister suggested that they may continue to perform while enlisting.
“There would be a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together,” said Lee Jong-sup.