Lest you’re unaware, the topic of whether BTS – a K-pop group that has exploded on to the world map – should receive military exemption is one that has long been debated.
Since launching in 2013, BTS has become the main driver behind the global K-Pop craze, with concerts that sell out mind-bogglingly fast around the world.
It even scored a first ever No.1 hit single on the US Billboard charts with the track Dynamite, and netted an unprecedented Grammy nomination as a K-pop group.
As such, considering what they have done for the country’s cultural status and economy, it was only a matter of time before military exemption was brought up.
After all, the nation does exempt high-profile musicians and athletes from service in appropriate cases. So what was stopping the government from doing the same for a group of cultural icons in their prime?
The debate raged on.
Yet, it appears that Netizens were not entirely in favour of ‘special treatment’ for the group. According to a poll by local news outlet E-Today, 53 per cent of respondents rooted for military exemption on BTS’ part.
The other 47 per cent opposed the notion.
And that begets the question. During a time when BTS is on the brink of rewriting K-Pop history in its entirety…
Would military enlistment at this stage potentially prove disastrous for their career paths?
South Korea Now Has a Law to Allow Globally Recognised K-pop Stars to Defer NS to 30YO
It seems that it would be years more before we find out.
South Korea’s parliament has passed a Bill (i.e. proposal that’ll become a law), which permits globally recognised K-pop artistes to delay their military service until the age of 30, on 1 December).
Lest you’re unaware, all able-bodied South Korean men aged between 18 and 28 are required to enlist for around two years.
Eligible students are allowed to defer their military service until the age of 28.
However, the new bill would allow K-Pop megastars, who are recognised for their contributions to South Korea’s culture and economy, to defer until the age of 30.
This means that the oldest member of BTS, 27-year-old Jin, would have three more years to continue breaking records with the group, before he officially enlists for his military service.
The same applies to the other members of the boy band.
“Pop artists tend to make their highest achievements in their 20s but many of them had to pursue a graduate degree to delay their service,” said Jeon Yong-gi, who co-authored the Bill.
Although fans have clamoured for military exemption on BTS’ part, it should be noted that the members themselves have never revealed an unwillingness to attend military training.
According to the news report, they have previously stated that they would complete their duties as stipulated.
Just like Singapore, it’s kind of a “taboo” to say that you can siam NS in South Korea.
Meanwhile, notable military exemptions would include Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min, who captained his country to a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
The feat meant that he, alongside the other 19 players in the squad, were all exempt from military service.
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