South Korean sensation BTS gets to postpone mandatory military service after the country’s parliament passed a bill giving K-pop artists the privilege to postpone it until age 30. In an update by Reuters, the amendment to the Military Service Act was designed to provide exceptions to K-pop artists who help improve the country’s cultural status and economy. Read more: South Korea passes law to allow BTS to postpone military service, by Reuters.
According to law, able-bodied South Korean men aged 18 to 28 must serve in the military for two years, as part of the country’s initiative to guard the country against North Korea.
However, South Korea also allows eligible students to defer their duties up to age 28 and has granted exemptions for high-profile classical musicians and athletes who won Olympic medals or a gold at the Asian Games, including Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min.
No K-pop star had received the exemption before. However, the new bill will ensure entertainers, recommended by the culture minister, to defer the service to age 30.
Since launching in 2013, BTS has driven the global K-pop craze with catchy, upbeat music alongside lyrics and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people. The oldest member of BTS, 27-year-old Jin, is nearing enlistment at a time when the seven-member boy band is rewriting K-pop history.
It recently notched a first-ever No.1 hit single on the U.S. Billboard charts with the song “Dynamite”, and bagged an unprecedented Grammy nomination as a K-pop band.
“Pop artists tend to make their highest achievements in their 20s but many of them had to pursue a graduate degree to delay their service,” said Jeon Yong-gi, who co-authored the bill. BTS’s management, Big Hit Entertainment, did not respond to a request for comment on the legislative change, but Jin and other band members have previously said they would fulfill their duties as required.