BTS members may be forced to join South Korea military


Seoul: The public is still incredibly divided about whether or not the members of the K-pop group BTS should be granted exemptions, therefore it seems that the military in South Korea wants to enlist them for compulsory military service.

One of the most contentious concerns in South Korea is whether the band’s seven members must enlist in the military because Jin, the oldest member, may do so after reaching 30 in December.

All physically-capable men in South Korea are obligated to serve in the military for 18 to 21 months. Athletes, classical and traditional musicians, as well as ballet and other dancers who have taken home top honours in competitions that boost a country’s status are also given specific exemptions under the statute.

The National Assembly has received several conscription law proposals that would allow BTS members to be excused, but none of them have been put to a vote because of the fierce disagreement among politicians on the issue.

On October 7, Lee Ki Sik, commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, told lawmakers that it is preferable for BTS members to complete their military obligations in order to guarantee fairness in the nation’s armed forces. At a parliamentary committee meeting earlier this week, South Korean Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup echoed the same sentiment about BTS while Culture Minister Park Bo Gyoon said his government would soon finalise its stance on the matter.

The development of exemptions from military service or evading military duty is a very delicate subject in South Korea because the draft forces young men to put their professional lives or academic pursuits on hold.

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