BTS’ Dynamite is making South Korean history, becoming the first song from the country to reach Top 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and now potentially being the catalyst to change for the nation’s mandatory military service.
According to the Military Manpower Administration, the current law requires all South Korean men (between 18 to 28) to join the service for two years, based on the branch they choose to join. Other Korean stars like Kim Soo Hyun of It's Okay to Not Be Okay and Big Bang member G-Dragon completed their terms last year.
BTS member Jin must enlist by December 4 of this year, his 28th birthday. While A.R.M.Y. fans all over the world have no control over this, Jin remains positive and still expects to do his part. “I believe that military service is a duty. If I’m called to the military, I’m ready to serve anytime,” said Jin, speaking in a conference for their album “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7” last February.
However, shortly after BTS’s Billboard win, democratic party representative, Jeon Yong Ji, drafted a revision to the act. It proposes that those who are exceptional artists in pop culture—including BTS—should be allowed to defer their duties until the age of 30. This exception would be granted if these artists have helped South Korea’s reputation overseas.
Now, the South Korean National Assembly's defense committee has passed a bill that allows famous male pop stars to defer their mandatory military enlistment. The bill is pending final approval from the parliament’s plenary. In South Korea, bills passed by the plenary require the president’s signature after the prime minister, and other state council members countersign before it gets enacted into law.
Under the South Korean law, service deferrals are only given to award-winning athletes like Olympic medalists and musicians in recognition of their success overseas. in the current law. A.R.M.Y. fans have shown interest in allowing exemptions for BTS too, but this has not been extended to K-pop stars.*You’re invited! Preview is celebrating its 25th year with an online party and we would love it if you, our dear reader, can join us! Register and save the date on December 5, 2020, for the Preview @ 25 House Party. See you!