BTS Is Headed to the Army Now

K-pop stars to fulfill mandatory military service, likely won't reconvene till 2025, reps say
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2022 8:47 AM CDT
Prepare Now for No More BTS 'Til 2025
Members of supergroup BTS are seen during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on May 31.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

BTS fans knew it was only a matter of time, though they'd crossed their fingers for some kind of last-minute dispensation. On Monday, reps from BigHit Music officially announced that all seven members of the South Korean supergroup have agreed to fulfill their mandatory military service, putting an end to fans' hopes for further delays or even exemptions that could keep their favorite performers singing and touring. Per NBC News, that means the K-pop stars likely won't regroup until around 2025, after they've all completed their conscription duties.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men under the age of 30 are to serve between 18 and 21 months in the military, though exceptions can be made for sports stars, performers, and others who bring prestige to the nation, per the Guardian. The BBC notes that BTS members had been permitted to put off fulfilling this duty until they were 30. But recent statements by military leaders and politicians have put the pressure on the group to start thinking about enlisting, in the interest of fairness.

The group has conceded, and its oldest member, Jin, who turns 30 in December, will begin the enlistment process at the end of the month, when the schedule for his solo release lets up, BTS' agency notes. Other members will follow his lead and head into the military themselves soon after. Still, South Korea's defense minister has hinted that fans might not be completely out of luck till 2025, noting that the members may still be allowed to convene on occasion while enlisted. "There would be a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together," Lee Jong-sup noted over the summer, per the BBC. (More BTS stories.)

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