BTS‘ J-hope has begun the process of enlisting for mandatory military service in South Korea.
The singer had previously applied for an enlistment postponement, but a new note from label Big Hit has revealed that he has now terminated that request and will enlist for the military.
In a note posted to fans on Weverse, Big Hit wrote: “We would like to inform our fans that j-hope has initiated the military enlistment process by applying for the termination of his enlistment postponement.”
The statement added: “We ask you for your continued love and support for j-hope until he completes his military service and safely returns.
“Our company will spare no effort in providing support for our artist.”
J-hope will become the second member of BTS to enlist for mandatory military service, following the enlistment of Jin in December of 2022.
Men are usually required to enlist by the age of 28, though the Order of Cultural Merit awarded to BTS by former president Moon Jae-In in 2018 allows the seven members of the boyband to enlist at 30 instead.
According to an October 17 statement from Big Hit Music, the remaining members of BTS will also carry out their military service according to their individual plans. It added that “both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment”.
This suggests that some of BTS’ younger members may be enlisting sooner than expected, as Jimin and V are technically only required to enlist by 2025 and youngest member Jungkook by 2027. Rapper Suga turns 30 in March 2023 and is likely to enlist soon.
In the months leading up to Big Hit Music’s October statement, South Korean politicians had been embroiled in months-long debate about whether the boyband could be granted exemptions or special allowances regarding their military service. The day after Big Hit Music confirmed that BTS would fulfil their military duties, the South Korean defence ministry said the group would still be able to participate in “national-level” events during their enlistment.