WORLD NEWS

Agency says BTS members will serve in South Korea’s military

Oct 17, 2022, 7:22 AM | Updated: 2:02 pm
(L-R) V, Jungkook, Jimin, RM, Jin, J-Hope and Suga of the South Korean pop group BTS speak at the d...
(L-R) V, Jungkook, Jimin, RM, Jin, J-Hope and Suga of the South Korean pop group BTS speak at the daily press briefing at the White House on May 31, 2022 in Washington, DC. BTS met with U.S. President Joe Biden to discuss Asian inclusion and representation, and to discuss the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The members of K-pop band BTS will serve their mandatory military duties under South Korean law, their management company said Monday, effectively ending a debate on whether they should be granted exemptions because of their artistic accomplishments.

Big Hit Music said the band’s oldest member, Jin, will revoke his request to delay his conscription at the end of the month and undertake the required steps. The six other BTS members also plan to serve in the military and are “looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” the company said in a statement.

No further information on the timing of their service was given. The band members performed together in Busan over the weekend in support of the city’s EXPO bid, which will be their last concert as a group until they finish serving in the military, according to their label.

Hybe Corp., the parent company of Big Hit, said in an email to The Associated Press that each member of the band for the time being will focus on individual activities scheduled around their military service plans.

In a letter to shareholders, Hybe CEO Park Jiwon downplayed financial concerns related to the BTS hiatus, saying it has a broad enough lineup of artists, including other popular K-pop groups such as Le Sserafim and NewJeans and Western performers Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.

“We have always been aware of the eventuality of mandatory military service, and we have long been making preparations to be ready for this moment,” Park wrote. “In the short term, individual activities for several of the members are planned into the first half of 2023, and we have secured content in advance, which will enable BTS to continue their engagement with fans for the foreseeable future.”

The announcement came after Lee Ki Sik, commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, told lawmakers this month that it would be “desirable” for BTS members to fulfill their military duties to ensure fairness in the country’s military service.

After enlisting, Jin and other BTS members will receive five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific units and duties, according to officials at the Military Manpower Administration, who stressed that the singers would go under the same process as other South Korean men.

While South Korea’s military for years had assigned enlisted entertainers to duties related to producing radio and TV material promoting the military, the “entertainment soldier” system was retired in 2013 following complaints over fairness.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said in August that if BTS members join the military, they would likely be allowed to continue practicing and to join with the group for tours overseas.

Whether the BTS members must serve in the army had been a hotly debated issue in South Korea as Jin faced possible enlistment early next year. Jin turns 30 in December, the age at which men can no longer delay enlistment. Other members are currently between 25 and 29 years old, with Suga turning 30 in March.

Under South Korean law, most able-bodied men are required to perform 18-21 months of military service, but special exemptions had been granted for athletes and artists who excel in certain international competitions that have been tied to national prestige.

The band — its other members being J-Hope, RM, Jungkook, V and Jimin — launched in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves the “Army.”

After building a huge following in Asia, BTS expanded its popularity in the West with its 2020 megahit “Dynamite,” the band’s first all-English song that made it the first K-pop act to top Billboard’s Hot 100. The band has performed in sold-out arenas around the world and was even invited to speak at United Nations meetings.

Since South Korea’s draft interrupts young males in their professional careers or studies, the dodging of military duties or creation of exemptions is a highly sensitive issue. Opinion surveys in recent weeks showed that the public was split over whether the BTS members should serve in the military.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

World News

Police secure the scene where a bus crashed into a day care center on Feb. 8. (Anne-Sophie Thill/AF...
Paula Newton

2 children dead, 6 others injured after bus crashes into daycare near Montreal

Authorities in Quebec said two children have died and six others were taken to area hospitals with injuries after a city bus drove into a daycare center in a Montreal suburb Wednesday morning.
14 hours ago
Utah Task Force 1 Headquarters (KSL-TV)...
Jed Boal

Utah Task Force 1 gives insight into search & rescue efforts in Turkey

Two American search & rescue teams similar to Utah's Task Force 1 are heading off to Turkey to help the country recover from a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
2 days ago
Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover debris from a suspected Chinese sur...
Haley Britzky

US Navy releases photos of Chinese spy balloon recovery effort

The U.S. Navy released photos Tuesday of its recovery effort of a suspected Chinese spy balloon, which U.S. fighter jets shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.
2 days ago
A baby girl who was born under the rubble caused by an earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey receive...
Ghaith Alsayed and Bassem Mroue, Associated Press

Newborn, toddler saved from rubble in quake-hit Syrian town

Residents digging through a collapsed building in a northwest Syrian town discovered a crying infant whose mother appears to have given birth to her while buried underneath the rubble from this week’s devastating earthquake.
2 days ago
Earthquake victims receive treatment at the al-Rahma Hospital in the town of Darkush, Idlib provinc...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah Turkish American Association finding ways to help after 7.8 earthquake

In Utah, Turkish Americans are desperately trying to get news from home, and one group is starting to think of how Utahns can help bring relief to their home country.
2 days ago
Smoke billows from the Iskenderun Port as rescue workers work at the scene of a collapsed building ...
Mehmet Guzel, Ghaith Alsayed and Suzan Fraser

Race to find survivors as quake aid pours into Turkey, Syria

Search teams and emergency aid from around the world are pouring into Turkey and Syria as rescuers working in freezing temperatures dig through the remains of buildings flattened by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Agency says BTS members will serve in South Korea’s military