Lifestyle Arts South Korean boyband BTS have to do compulsory military service

South Korean boyband BTS have to do compulsory military service

The duration of the military services would be about 18 months and will come when they are at the peak of their careers.

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The defence ministry of South Korea says popular K-pop boy band BTS will have to do compulsory military services, reaffirming its policy of no exceptions for pop stars.

This may fuel a debate in South Korea, which remains technically at war with North Korea, about whether entertainers and athletes should have to do their full military service.

The duration of the military services would be about 18 months and will come when they are at the peak of their careers.

In South Korea, there is the view that exempting pop culture artists from military service is unfair although the artists have contributed to the country’s reputation.

Photo: Facebook screengrab/ BTS

Known more popularly as BTS, Bangtan Boys is a South Korean boy band formed in Seoul in 2013.
Its members are Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Every member co-writes and produces most of their material.
The seven-member group is at the peak of their career in Korean pop, garnering three No.1 albums on the Billboard chart in less than a year, performing in places such as New York to Saudi Arabia including a 2019 Grammy nomination.
When Korean men turn 18, they are eligible for a physical examination by the Military Manpower Administration followed by service. Korean women do not have to do military service.
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Athletes may be granted exemptions if they won gold medals at the Asian Games or any medal at the Olympics.

Other than that, classical musicians who have received awards at recognised international competition can be exempted from military service.

Footballer Son Heung-min who plays for the English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, was given an exemption but only after he helped the South Korean national team win gold at the Asian Games.

Every year, fewer than 45 people are exempted from service according to the defence ministry.

South Korea has nearly 600,000 soldiers and most of them are conscripted.

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