BTS Won't Be Exempt From Mandatory Military Service by the South Korean Government

Tamara Fuentes
Photo credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

From Seventeen

Fans of BTS have been holding out hope that the band will be granted exemption from mandatory military service, but it looks like they'll still have to go through it.

In South Korea, men between the ages of ages of 18 to 28 are required to sign up for military service and serve for anywhere from a year and a half to three years, depending on the branch they sign up for and what kind of service they can perform.

The government is able to grant exemptions to those who are unable to sign up for service or for athletes and musicians who fall under certain criteria (winning awards, etc), however, K-pop stars like BTS do not qualify and they have yet to request to be exempt. Currently, only classical musicians and ballet dancers are able to be exempt, but that may change soon.

"The Ministry of Defense is currently debating with related authorities on improving the current alternate service [program] in place of conscription, but nothing has been decided as to when a change may take effect," a Ministry of Defense official told The Hollywood Reporter.

Jin, the oldest member of the group, will have to enlist by June 2020, after delaying his inscription since being in the band. Jungkook is the youngest, he's currently 22, and can continue to delay his service for the time being.

Even though Jin might have to step away from the group for a while, there's a good chance they can still keep going as a band, as many other K-Pop groups have done in the past, as they wait for him to return. Another possibility is the band all signing up at the same time and taking a hiatus or cycling through their members as they all completely their service.

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