For the past several months there has been a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the members of the Korean pop group BTS would end up serving in the Korean Military which is mandatory for all males.
On October 17, BTS’s management company stated that the seven members of the group would indeed be serving their mandatory service in the South Korean service. Service runs between 18 and 21 months.
While military service is mandatory, the South Korean government does have a provision to exempt people who have made artistic accomplishments to the nation.
The members of BTS issued a statement saying they are, “looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.”
While there are no details about when the guys will enter into the service, their performance this pas weekend in Busan will be their final show until after their service has been completed.
Big Hit Music’s parent company Hybe Corp noted that they have a number of other artists and do not expect any financial concerns over the temporary loss of music from BTS.
In a statement, Hybe Corp CEO Park Jiwon noted, “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. 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.”
While there was some discussion as to whether the band members should serve their mandatory enlistment; Military Manpower Administration commissioner Lee Ki Sik told South Korean lawmakers that it would be “desirable” that the band members did fulfill their mandatory service.
Once the band members enlist, they will go through five weeks of combat training before they are assigned to their service units. There has been no mention so far of what exactly the guys would be doing during their military service; only that they would be treated the same as all other South Korean men fulfilling their service.
the seven members of BTS range from 25 to 29 years old with two of the members approaching the cut off age. Thirty is the age when Korean men can no longer delay their enlistment in the military.
BTS formed in 2013 and burst onto the American music scene in 2020 where they have since sold out stadiums and topped music charts with hit after hit.
feature photo credit: BTS during a White House press conference May 31, 2022 (cropped).jpg