In South Korea, all men healthy enough to leave are required to enlist and complete their compulsory military service between the ages of 18 and 30. As service is expected to last up to two years, the final age at which men can enlist is 28.
However, the group’s international success has led the country to pass an amendment to its military service law that will allow artists who have positively impacted South Korea’s reputation to delay their enlistment by two years longer than the average.
The delay in the enrollment of an eligible person can only come from the recommendation of the Minister of Culture.
Discussions in parliament began after BTS took No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart with their song “Dynamite”. The government expects the song to generate up to $ 1.5 billion for the South Korean economy.
In 2018, BTS was awarded an Order of Cultural Merit medal, which was awarded to the group for the dissemination of Korean language and culture.
BTS’s oldest member, Jin, will be 28 on December 4, which means the amendment was passed just in time to allow him to delay his military service for two years if he chooses to do so.
At a press conference marking the release of BTS’s latest album, BE, Jin was asked about the military service to which he he told me, “If there is a call from my country and the time is right, I will accept [the duty] at any time. ”
“This is something that all members talk about often, and we all plan to accept military service,” he added.
In 2018, Son Heung-min, a 28-year-old footballer for the South Korea and Tottenham Hotspur national team, was exempted from enlistment after being part of the squad that won the final match of the Asian Games. against Japan.
His exemption meant that the required two-year enlistment was reduced to four weeks, which he began in April this year after isolating himself for two weeks. He has since finished it and has started playing football again in the UK.