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South Korea’s Culture Minister proposes BTS be exempt from military service

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They may be called ARMY, but BTS fans don’t want to see their boys go into the army for real.  In South Korea, all able-bodied men are required to serve in the military for about two years, but now, a government minister is proposing that BTS should be exempt from that rule.

As Yonhap News Agency reports, South Korea’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Hwang Hee is proposing that, just like South Korea’s elite athletes and classical musicians, K-pop stars like BTS should also be allowed to substitute their mandatory active military service for some kind of alternative service.

Hwang said at a press conference, “There is no reason the popular art-culture field should be excluded from this,” adding, “I thought somebody should be a responsible voice at a time when there are conflicting pros and cons ahead of the enlistment of some of the BTS members.”

He explained that if huge stars like BTS are forced to put their careers on hold for military service, there would be a great loss, not only to the country, but to the world.

Hwang urged parliament to approve a bill granting the exemption as soon as possible.

The oldest member of BTS, Jin, is due to enlist in December.  Since 2018, there’s been a law in place — sometimes called the BTS Law — which allows K-pop stars to ask to delay their military service until they turn 30.

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