South Korea passed a new law that would let BTS and other world-renowned K-pop artists postpone their mandatory military service until the age of 30.
On Tuesday, the South Korean parliament passed an amendment to the Military Service Act, officially granting exceptions for global celebrities who help uplift the country’s economy and cultural status, Reuters reported.
Under the country’s current law, all able-bodied men between 18 and 28 are required to serve in the military for two years.
Eligible students are allowed to postpone their duties up to age 28, whereas high profile musicians and athletes have previously been afforded exemptions.
So far, no K-pop star has been exempted from military duty, although there was an infamous attempt from an artist who tried in 2002.
In 2018, requests for BTS to be exempt from their military service first appeared with the group’s rising success. Talks of a possibility surfaced from National Assembly Defense Committee member Ha Tae Kyung.
He noted the “issue in equality,” stating exemptions are given “…if you win #1 in violin, piano, and classical music competitions. However, you are not given an exemption for ranking No.1 on the Billboard chart.”
Jeon Yong-gi, who co-authored the bill, explained that pop artists usually reach their top achievements in their 20s but can only delay the service by pursuing a graduate degree. Which may explain why K-pop stars pursue higher education while being an idol.
With the amendment, entertainers such as K-pop stars can opt to serve when they reach 30 years old as long as they are recommended by the culture minister.
Jin, who is the oldest member of the group at 27 years old, is already set for enlistment. With the supergroup currently at the pinnacle of its global success, a deferment for Jin could not come at a better time.
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