BTS member Jin has shared a new photo with bandmates J-hope and Jimin while serving his mandatory military service.
On Saturday (March 4), the K-pop idol returned to his personal Instagram account for the first time since beginning his mandatory military service last December. Dressed in his military uniform and sporting a short haircut, Jin posed between BTS bandmates J-hope and Jimin in the new photo.
The singer then captioned the photo “welcome,” while J-hope shared a string of laughter and heart emojis in the post’s comments.
Just over a week ago, Big Hit Music shared that J-hope has recently begun his own enlistment process. Although the Order of Cultural Merit awarded to BTS by former president Moon Jae-In in 2018 allows the boyband to defer their enlistment until the age of 30 instead of 28 (as required of all able-bodied male citizens of South Korea), the label revealed that J-hope had terminated his previous request for deferral at 29.
While the label has yet to specify the start date of the idol’s impending service, he will be the second BTS member to enlist after Jin. Following news of his enlistment, J-hope bid farewell to fans with his new single ‘on the street’ featuring J. Cole, who he previously called his “muse”.
Last October, Big Hit Music released a statement announcing that all seven members of BTS intend to carry out their respective military service terms 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,” suggesting that younger members Jimin, V and Jungkook may enlist earlier than technically required.
The announcement came after a months-long debate between South Korean politicians on whether or not the boyband should be granted exemptions or special allowances with regards to their military terms, on account of BTS’ cultural and economic value to the nation.
Shortly after Big Hit Music’s statement, the South Korean defence ministry said they would still be able to participate in “national-level” events during their enlistment, a provision that has not been granted to any other musicians.