SEOUL, South Korea (CelebrityAccess) — The South Korean government ruled on Sunday that members of the hugely successful K-Pop band will not be exempted from mandatory military service.
According to the Korea Times, the ruling from officials with the government’s military system reform body means that BTS’s oldest member Jin, who is 26, will be obliged to start his military service within the next year.
In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” in April, Jin said he stands ready to do his duty when required.
Active-duty soldiers serve 18 months in the Army or Marine Corps, 20 months in the Navy, and 22 months in the Air Force and are then obliged to join the reserves and attend a few days of military training per year for the next six years.
South Korea, which has officially been in a state of war with its North Korean neighbor for the last half-century, requires that male citizens between the ages of 18 and 28 perform compulsory military service, typically for two years.
Some noted performing artists, primarily Western classical and Korean traditional music artists, and athletes who win medals in the Olympics, or gold medals in the Asian Games, can be exempted.
However, the fairness of the system has drawn scrutiny, with some lawmakers calling for reform, and adding K-Pop performers to the list of artists eligible for exemptions.