A new Korean media report revealed the ministry has stressed the importance of being careful, citing many concerning factors regarding South Korea’s population.
We take a look at the Korean government’s response to BTS’ special military exemption plea below.
For those unaware of the context, there has been a plea to revise the Military Act for cultural artists to exempt them from serving in the army. A bill introduced in 2020 allowed special meritorious popstars like BTS to delay their mandatory enlistment till the age of 30.
Generally, all able-bodied South Korean males are required to serve in the country’s military for about 20 months. The required age for military enlistment is usually between 18 and 28. But, the new bill allowed cultural artists with an impact similar to BTS to defer their mandatory enlistment until they’re 30.
BTS has undoubtedly been the biggest cultural icon of South Korea. The two times Grammy-nominated group has broken multiple Guinness World Records, became the first South Korean act to get a Grammy nod as well as first Asian group to win at the American Music Awards.
To honor their exceptional cultural prominence and immense financial impact on South Korea’s economy, Yoon Sang Hyun, a member of the National Assembly, along with 16 members of the People’s Strength Council, proposed amendments to the Military Service Act which would allow groups like BTS to be exempted from military altogether.
Read all about the amendment here.
Boo Seung-chan, the defense ministry’s spokesperson, responded to the revision bill plea on November 25th. He said:
“Regarding the revision bill, the defense ministry cannot help but consider situational variables. The one that we face at this very moment is the situation caused by the shrinking population.”
“Secondly, there is also a need for social consensus. In other words, this is about fair military service,” he added while talking about the importance and need to be “prudent.”
A subcommittee of the parliament’s national defense committee had earlier discussed the revision bill on November 25th but could not make any progress on the decision.
BTS ARMY has to wait further to hear from the ministry about BTS’ enlistment exemption.
Meanwhile, BTS is gearing up for their first offline concert in almost two years at LA’s SoFi Stadium on November 28. Learn all about BTS’ LA concert here.