BTS members to start compulsory military service

(CNN) — Members of BTS, the K-pop supergroup, are planning to serve in the military, the band’s record label confirmed Monday. The oldest member, Jin, aims to start the process later this month.

Military service is mandatory in South Korea, where almost all able-bodied men must serve in the military for 18 months before their 28th birthday.

South Korea’s parliament passed a bill in 2020 that allows pop stars, i.e. those who are “excellent in popular culture and the arts,” to defer their service until the age of 30.

Korean pop band BTS takes a hiatus 1:17

Jin turns 30 this year, and following the band’s June announcement that they would take a break from group music activities to pursue solo projects, the members now plan to serve in the military.

According to BIGHIT Music, BTS is expected to reunite as a group around 2025.

The record label said it was seeing the best time for the band to take up military service, “to respect the needs of the country and these healthy young people,” adding that the time “is now.”

“Group member Jin will begin the process as soon as he completes his schedule for his single release at the end of October. The Korean government’s recruitment process will then follow,” the label said. “The other members of the group are planning their military service based on their individual plans,” he said.

The country’s defense minister said in August that BTS could perform abroad while still serving in the military, Reuters news agency reported.

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