All seven members of the K-pop band BTS are set to undergo mandatory military service, putting to bed speculations and debates about their exemption from the laws that govern the South Korean nation.
Jin, the eldest of the boy band at 29 years, has put off his enlistment for so long it can no longer be postponed since he will be clocking 30 later in the year.
Agile men between 18 and 28 years in South Korea are expected to train with the military for 18 to 21 months to make the youths combat-ready for any battle.
“Jin will cancel the request to delay enlistment in late October 2022 and follow the Military Manpower Administration’s relevant procedures for enlistment,” BTS management group HYBE said in a statement.
The remaining six members would enlist for mandatory military service at a time of their choosing to align with their plans.
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” Bighit Music, a team that manages BTS, disclosed in a separate statement.
The South Korean authorities have exempted only a handful of eligible young men from conscription based on their excellence in their chosen fields.
Some persons who have benefitted from this exemption policy include Olympics game medal winners and classical musicians like Seong-jin Cho, the first South Korean pianist to emerge as the International Chopin Piano Competition winner.
Many citizens also thought that military service would be waived for the singers.
BTS, the K-pop band that has enjoyed global acclaim, including sold-out shows, caused quite a stir among millions of fans after it was announced the band was taking a break in June to enable artistes to pursue their individual music goals.