Will the seven members of the famous K-pop group BTS have to do their military service? For the sake of fairness, this would be “desirable”, believes the South Korean military administration.
Posted at 12:57 p.m.
That’s the term used by Lee Ki Sik, commissioner of military personnel administration, when addressing South Korean lawmakers on Friday. Defense Minister Lee Ki Sik expressed a similar position earlier this week before a parliamentary committee.
These statements by high-ranking South Koreans are part of a real national debate raging in South Korea, where any man considered able-bodied and aged between 18 and 28 is required to perform 18 to 21 months of military service, because of the threat posed by North Korea.
The oldest member of BTS, Jin, could be conscripted in December after turning 30. However, the government has already authorized exceptions for athletes, classical and traditional musicians and ballet dancers, but no popular singer has been granted this privilege so far.
In 2019, the law was revised to allow K-pop stars to postpone their military service until the age of 30.
According to a recent survey conducted in South Korea, 61% of respondents believe that popular artists should also be eligible for the exemption and 54% believe that BTS members should do their military service.
In August, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said that even while doing their military service, members of the boy band (which brings in billions of dollars in economic benefits) could continue to perform abroad and that they would have the opportunity to repeat within the army, which has many admirers, according to him.
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