There have been years of debate as to whether BTS (you know them, the gorg K-Pop group we all love) will be required to serve their compulsory military service in the South Korean army (over there it’s mandatory
for all able-bodied men aged 18-28 to do about two years.) Today, the news has broken that yes, after being allowed to put it off until the age of 30, the seven members of the band will be serving, with Jin (29) starting preparations next month.
Viewed by many South Koreans as national treasures - some lawmakers had suggested the band could be granted an exemption so they could keep performing. Such exemptions have been given to Olympic medallists and other high-achieving sports stars, classical musicians and dancers.
However, the statement from the band’s managers on Monday said the musicians were content to carry out their duties.
South Korea has these rules around military service because they’re technically still at war with their neighbours over in North Korea (you know, the ones who are often testing missiles etc) so it’s in their interests to stay prepared.
I actually think this will be a really interesting phenom to watch - seeing a fandom (espesh the Army who are legit unstoppable when it comes to most things other than the actual government of course) interact with something like military service. Will we start seeing military stans? Will this get weird? Who knows…