SEOUL, South Korea (CelebrityAccess) — South Korean boy band BTS will not be provided with an exemption from mandatory military service, meaning that the band is likely headed for a hiatus from touring.
According to Reuters, South Korea’s defense ministry announced its decision on Thursday, noting: “Exempting pop culture artists from military service even though they have made a contribution to the country’s reputation is not in line with the government’s stance to uphold justice and fairness.”
In South Korea, which has officially been in a state of war since 1950, requires that all of its male citizens perform a mandatory stint in the army, typically for about 18 months. South Korean women are not required to do military service.
However, authorities have provided exemptions for some individuals, including athletes who have won gold medals at the Asian Games, or any medal at the Olympics, and some classical musicians who have achieved fame through international competitions.
According to Reuters, fewer than 45 citizens are exempted from mandatory military service each year.
BTS is lined up to perform at the Forum in Los Angeles on December 6th as part of KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball music festival.