BTS members are said to be serving in the South Korean Army

A military official told lawmakers earlier this month it would be better if the stars weren’t exempt to promote the idea of ​​fairness in the military.

SEOUL, South Korea — The members of K-pop band BTS will perform their mandatory military duties under South Korean law, their management company said Monday, effectively ending a debate over their artistic achievement exemption.

Big Hit Music said the band’s oldest member, Jin, will rescind his request to defer his draft at the end of the month and take the necessary steps to become drafted. The other six members also plan to serve in the military, according to the company’s filing with financial regulators, which it described as management-related information that could potentially affect investment decisions.

Big Hit issued another statement on Twitterand said the company and BTS members “look forward to reuniting as a group following their service engagement around 2025.”

No further information was given about the time of her service. The band members performed together in Busan over the weekend to support the city’s bid for the EXPO, which their label says will be their last concert as a group until they finish military service.

“Each BTS member will initially focus on their individual activities based on their plans to serve in the military,” Hybe Corp., Big Hit’s parent company, said in an email to The Associated Press.

The announcement came after Military Manpower Administration commissioner Lee Ki Sik told lawmakers this month that it would “desirable” for BTS members to carry out their military duties To ensure fairness in the country’s military service.

After enlistment, Jin and other BTS members receive five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific units and duties, according to Military Manpower Administration officials, who stressed that the singers would go through the same process as other South Korean men.

While the South Korean military had for years contracted employed entertainers to perform duties related to the production of radio and television material promoting the military, the “entertainment soldier” system was shut down in 2013 after complaints about fairness.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup had said in August that if BTS members join the military, they will likely be allowed to continue practicing and join the overseas travel group.

Whether the BTS members will need to serve in the army has been a hotly debated topic in South Korea, as Jin faced possible conscription early next year. Jin turns 30 in December, the age at which men can no longer delay conscription.

Under South Korean law, most able-bodied men are required to serve 18 to 21 months of military service, but special exceptions have been granted to athletes and artists who excel in certain international competitions associated with national prestige.

Because the South Korean draft interrupts young men’s careers or studies, circumventing military duties or creating exemptions is a highly sensitive issue. Opinion polls over the past few weeks showed that the public was divided over whether BTS members should serve in the military. BTS members are said to be serving in the South Korean Army

Laura Coffey

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