South Korea Official Backs Exempting BTS From Military Service
South Korea’s culture minister suggested on Wednesday that the members of BTS should be exempt from mandatory military service.
“I thought somebody should be a responsible voice at a time when there are conflicting pros and cons ahead of the enlistment of some of the BTS members,” Hwang Hee said at a press briefing, according to the Yonhap News Agency.
Hee is urging parliament to pass a bill that would allow male pop artists alternative options to serve their country. There has been strong opposition to the proposal, mostly from young men in South Korea.
The country’s conscription law requires most males to register to start 18 months of military service by the time they are 28.
A 2021 amendment allows pop stars who have received government medals to apply for deferment of their military service until they are 30. BTS received the Order of Cultural Merit by president Moon Jae-In in 2018.
The members of BTS currently range in age from 24 to 29. (Jin, turns 30 in December and Suga will be 30 next March.)
BTS management has previously said it believes “military service is a duty, and we will try to show the fans the best of BTS until, and after, the members have fulfilled their service duties.”
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