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In South Korea, all able-bodied men over the age of 18 are required to serve for up to two years. Last month, Big Hit Music announced that all members of BTS would eventually accept their military duties, with Jin – who turns 30 later this year – being the first.
At the end of the month, the singer noted that his original plans for enlistment were delayed to accomodate for BTS’ one-off ‘Yet To Come’ concert in Busan (which took place on Saturday October 15); in a livestream celebrating the release of his solo single ‘The Astronaut’, Jin revealed that he initially planned to enlist himself back in June.
According to the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency, Jin has sought to cancel a request for his conscription to be postponed. Complying with South Korea’s Military Service Act – which was last revised in 2020 – the singer had his enlistment held off until the end of this year. It’s not entirely clear when he’ll now begin his service, but it’s noted that he made a formal application to scrap the delay with the official Military Manpower Administration.
The news comes amid months of debate over whether BTS should be forced to carry out their conscription. Last June, all members of the boy band were granted special deferments allowing them a two-year extension on the maximum age for enlistment (from 28 to 30) on the basis of them having been awarded the Order of Cultural Merit.
At the start of October, South Korean defence minister Lee Jong-sup expressed reluctance at the prospect of excepting any members from their duties, saying it would be “desirable” if they carried out their respective services, but that he would “respect” a proposed change to the law if it were to pass in congress. South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) has said it will decide whether any members would qualify for exemption by December.
Also in October, Moon Hong-sik – the acting spokesperson for the South Korean defence ministry – told journalists that BTS’ members will be allowed to participate in “national-level” events throughout the duration of their military service.
Meanwhile, Jin delivered the live debut of ‘The Astronaut’ last Friday (October 28), performing it with Coldplay in Buenos Aires, Argentina.