SEOUL (CelebrityAccess) – K-Pop megastars, BTS might still be able to perform overseas while serving in the South Korean military, per South Korea’s Defense Minister.
On Monday, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup, speaking at parliament, said that by allowing the band to continue performing, the military could serve national interests without affecting the shrinking personnel resources due to South Korean low birth rates, as reported by CTVNews.
Military service sits on a hotbed of controversy in South Korea, where all healthy men aged 18 – 28 must fulfill their duties as part of efforts to defend against nuclear-ready North Korea. As of Monday, the country is at odds as they debate shortening mandatory military service for K-pop artists to only three weeks, versus two years.
This issue is coming to the forefront as BTS member, Jin turned 30 in 2022. Under a revision of the law in 2019 K-pop stars were allowed to put off their service until the age of 30. BTS’ management, Big Hit has not commented on the issue as of press time but said back in April that some members of BTS were having a “hard time” over the parliament debate and wanted a decision to be made.
“Even if they join the military, there would be a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together if there are scheduled concerts abroad,” Lee said.
The seven-member band announced a break in June from group musical activities to pursue solo projects, pleading exhaustion. BTS became the first Asian band to win artist of the year at the American Music Awards (AMA) in 2021. In May of this year, they traveled to the US to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss hate crimes targeting Asians.