Is the new South Korean president considering BTS’ military exemption?
With South Korea’s law of drafting all healthy male citizens up to the age of 30 to enlist in mandatory military service, it does seem to affect a lot of our favorite celebrities. With only national athletes being exempt from military service for their contribution to their nation, a lot of people have been wondering about BTS’ status. BTS and other K-pop artists’ global influence and economic impact had South Korea changing their maximum age limit for enlisting from 28 to 30.
The South Korean government also allowed BTS to apply for a one-year deferment which meant that Jin who had already turned 30 could postpone his enlistment from 2021 to 2022. And while there has been much talk between the cultural ministry and the central government for complete military exemption, no decision has been taken yet frustrating fans. However, it did look like the new South Korean president would finally be taking some action.
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BTS’ military exemption not a topic of discussion
On March 31, reports flooded in that the next president, Yoon Seok-yeol’s transition committee had met with HYBE to discuss the topic of BTS’ military exemption. With presidential-candidate winner Yoon appreciating art and culture to the point that they are discussing opening the Blue House (presidential office) for K-pop and traditional Korean performances, many thought his team would rule in favor of an exemption. Unfortunately, hours later, new reports came in that BTS’ military service was not discussed.
Later in the day, it was announced that a representative of Yoon’s transition committee had clarified all rumors regarding BTS. It was shared that Ahn Cheol-soo and the committee would indeed be meeting HYBE, BTS’ company but they would not be discussing their military service. Instead, they will be focusing on the difficulties of the entertainment industry and how Yoon and his team can help create and implement new policies to help the Hallyu culture flourish.
HYBE themselves shared that they had no reason to bring up military exemption as it was not something they were petitioning for. While BTS was glad that fans wanted to stay with them for longer, they had “expressed their intention to voluntarily perform their military service.”
‘I ain’t gonna believe anything’
One fan wondered if the earlier report had something to do with April Fool’s Day, “Bestie it's April fools.” One ARMY asked non-Korean fans from giving their two-cents, “Remider for non-korean ARMY: You dont need to give your opinion on everything. Specially things that you are not inheritently educated about or are affected with.” Another fan decided, “I ain't gonna believe anything that puts BTS and military exemptions in the same sentence, until BTS themselves say it for themselves. Period.” A Korean fan said, “BTS are legends. ❤️🌟❤️ No matter what happens, they will always work hard.”
Remider for non-korean ARMY: You dont need to give your opinion on everything. Specially things that you are not inheritently educated about or are affected with.— Adi-pi⁷🍎 (@badbye7G) April 1, 2022
I ain't gonna believe anything that puts BTS and military exemptions in the same sentence, until BTS themselves say it for themselves. Period 🙃— Callie⁷ Can't Concentrate (@szemunn) April 1, 2022