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In accordance with South Korean law, all able-bodied men over the age of 18 are required to serve in the military for up to two years. Despite months worth of public and political debate regarding a potential exemption for BTS, the group and HYBE announced last month that all seven members will be fulfilling their military duties. The seven-piece are expected to be completely discharged from service and reconvene as a group by 2025. As the band’s eldest member, 29-year-old Jin will be the first to enlist.
Earlier today (November 24), South Korean news outlets including Yonhap News Agency and KBS News reported that according to unnamed sources from the South Korean military, the K-pop idol will be enlisting on December 13.
These outlets also claimed that Jin will be reporting for duty at a recruit training centre in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi-do for a five-week basic training programme, before going on to be deployed to a frontline unit.
In response to the reports, BTS’ label Big Hit Music issued a brief statement to Ilgan Sports shortly after. “It is difficult to confirm. We ask for your generous understanding,” the company’s response read, according to translations by Soompi.
Later, Jin himself took to fan community platform Weverse to address fans regarding the news of his impending enlistment. “Even though I didn’t want the article to be published, ARMYs (BTS’ fanbase) shouldn’t come to the training centre,” he wrote in his post. “There will be other people apart from me, and it may be dangerous if it were crowded. ARMY, I love you.”
These reports of Jin’s supposed enlistment date comes several weeks after it was reported earlier this month that Jin had applied to cancel a request for his conscription to be postponed with the official Military Manpower Administration.
Prior to his enlistment, Jin made his solo debut with the single album ‘The Astronaut’ in late October. The song, which he co-wrote with British band Coldplay, later became the fastest album by a soloist to surpass a million sales in the Circle Chart’s history.