The Korean government has confirmed that BTS won’t be exempt from mandatory military service, despite guidelines being revised.
All able-bodied men between the ages of 18-35 in South Korea must undertake military service, although there has been previous exemptions for musicians and athletes who display excellence in their fields.
However, it seems that the K-Pop giants won’t be be eligible for the chance to skip military service after all.
“In the case of BTS, I personally wish I could allow exemptions for them under certain standards, but the Military Manpower Administration and the Ministry of National Defense [in charge of conscription] are inclined to downsize the overall scope [of exemption],” Culture Minister Park Yang-woo said, per Yonhap News.
He added: “Unlike classical arts or sports, it is difficult to fix the criteria of the selection in the popular culture and arts fields, which makes it difficult to institutionalise [a waiver system].”
It means that Jin, the eldest member of BTS, will be required to enlist when he turns 28 next year.
Discussing the prospect, BTS previously said: “As a Korean, it’s natural, and someday, when duty calls we’ll be ready to respond and do our best.”
It comes weeks after BTS brought their ‘Love Yourself’ era to an end with a huge homecoming show in Seoul.
“They jump around on an updated version of this summer’s bouncy slide during ‘Anpanman’, buoyantly headbang their way through ‘So What’, and conduct ARMY bomb waves as if this is their first time seeing the lightsticks change colour across the venue in synchronicity,” NME wrote of the show in a five star review.
“It’s beautiful silly and infectiously fun, and enough to win over even the most cynical sourpuss.”