BTS will not receive an exemption from military service in their native South Korea, leaving millions of fans worried about the future of the band. Consciption is mandatory in South Korea. Since 1957, “ablebodied” male South Koreans have been required to complete two years of compulsory military service between the ages of 18 and 28 - with exemptions only available to athletes or artists who win international competitions.
All seven members of the K-pop band are yet to serve, and the oldest, Jin, turns 27 in December, meaning the band may have to join their nation’s army soon. South Korean officials told The Hollywood Reporter that no exception will be made for the
seven singers who form BTS, but they are reviewing the policy for the future.
“The Ministry of Defense is currently debating with related authorities on improving the current alternate service programme in place of conscription, but nothing has been decided as to when a change may take effect,” a representative of the South Korean Ministry of Defense official told THR.
Fans have pleaded with the South Korean government to grant the group an exemption, as afforded to Tottenham Hotspur soccer star Son Heung-min, while more than 20,000 have signed a petition calling for BTS’ members to be allowed to complete their service together. Jin has told CBS Sunday Morning in April that he was happy to complete his national service, saying: “As a Korean, it’s natural, and someday, when duty calls we’ll be ready to respond and do our best.” Not if your fans have anything to do with it, Jin!