After much speculation and debate over the issue, Korean boy band BTS has officially announced their military enlistment with the South Korean government
The announcement came today, 17 October, that the group intends to fulfil their responsibilities in carrying out their military service.
BTS’s agency, HYBE, released the statement on Twitter with context to the group’s decision. “After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavours, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honoured to serve,” the release read.
According to the law on military service in South Korea, all able-bodied men aged between 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for between 18 and 21 months. One’s refusal to complete said service constitutes a crime in South Korea, and may lead to imprisonment on a case-to-case circumstance.
All the members of BTS.
Image via iHeartRadio.
A rampant topic of discussion for years, certain categories of exception have applied to South Korean men before, with others even serving shorter terms, including Olympians and Asian Games medal winners.
Many lawmakers have called for BTS to be exempted entirely from the enlistment in the past.
The oldest member of the group, Jin, who turns 30 this December, will be the first of the group to enlist in the service
BTS’ music label company, BIGHIT MUSIC, pledged their focus to this milestone moment for the group members to serve.
“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,” continued the description.
This comes after Jin was permitted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of South Korea to postpone his enlistment, with the postponement scheduled to terminate by the end of this year.
The statement continues by stating that the other members of BTS will carry out their service based on their own plans, though it was not disclosed as to what they may be.
BTS member, Jin.
Image via StyleCaster
Unfortunately for all ARMY members (no pun intended), the statement further clarified that the group will only be reconvening in 2025
“With the release of their first anthology album earlier this year, it opened the path to allow the members to take some time to explore individual projects,” read the statement.
Closing their thoughts, the agency and music label expressed their support and encouragement for all other artistes to commit to the duty of military service when the time approaches for them all.
Image via Billboard
Read the full statement released on Twitter below:
 (+ENG/JPN/CHN) pic.twitter.com/jntF90agO4
— BIGHIT MUSIC (@BIGHIT_MUSIC) October 17, 2022