Members of the Boy band BTS may have to serve in the South Korean army after reportedly being denied an exemption.
South Korea requires men aged between 18 and 28 to participate in mandatory military services.
The youngest BTS member is 22 years old while its oldest member, Jin, will turn 27 in December.
Whether the seven performers will have to serve in the army has been on the mind of fans for some time.
Independent UK reported that officials from the Korean Ministry of Defence speaking to The Hollywood Reporter said that while some people were hoping the BTS members would be exempt from serving, that won’t be a possibility.
“The Ministry of Defense is debating with related authorities on improving the current alternate service [program] in place of conscription, but nothing has been decided as to when a change may take effect,” an official said.
In the past, some artists have secured exemptions due to health or financial issues, but such exemptions are not adequate for the members of BTS.
Jin addressed the possibility of having to serve in the South Korean army during an interview with CBS in April this year.
“As a Korean, it’s natural. And someday when duty calls, we’ll be ready to respond and do our best,” he said.
RM, another member aged 25, said of the band’s approach to fame and success: ”We just enjoy the ride, live the moment, and that’s all we can do.”
BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys is a South Korean boy band formed in Seoul in 2013.
The group co-writes and produces most of their material.
Originally a hip hop group, their musical style has evolved to include a wide range of genres.
Their lyrics, often focused on personal and social commentary, touch on the themes of mental health, troubles of school-age youth, the journey towards loving oneself, and individualism.