Oct 17, 2022 - World

BTS to serve in South Korea's mandatory military service

Members of the South Korean pop group BTS

Members of the South Korean pop group BTS speak at the daily press briefing at the White House on May 31. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Members of the popular Korean pop boy band BTS will be taking a break from their music careers to fulfill their mandatory military service, the group's management company announced Monday, AP reported.

Driving the news: South Korea requires all men between the ages of 18 and 28 to serve about two years in the military, per the BBC.

  • In 2020, BTS won a deferral allowing them to put off their military service until they were 30.
  • The eldest member of the band, Jin, is set to turn 30 in December, and the issue of whether the bandmates would be exempted from service has been hotly debated in South Korea, per AP.

What's next: “Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government,” the group's record label, BIGHIT Music, said in the statement, CNN reported.

  • “Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans," the label added.
  • The label said it had been considering when to plan for the group's military service “to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men.”
  • Once enlisted, the BTS members will undergo five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific military units and duties, per AP.

The big picture: The announcement comes months after the bandmates announced that they would be pursuing solo projects.

  • In March 2021, BTS was crowned the biggest recording act in the world by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, according to Forbes.
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