According to their label, BTS will not hold another concert as a group until they all serve in the military approximately 3 years from now.

SEOUL, South Korea — Members of K-pop band BTS will perform their mandatory military duties under South Korean law, their management company said Monday, effectively ending the debate over whether they should be allowed to perform their artistic duties. Exemptions should be given on account of achievements.

Big Hit Music said the band’s oldest member, Jin, will revoke his request to delay his enlistment at the end of the month and take the necessary steps. Six other BTS members also plan to serve in the military and “look forward to serving as a group again around 2025,” the company said in a statement. Statement

No further information was given about the timing of his services. The band members performed together in Busan over the weekend in support of the city’s Expo bid, which will be their last concert as a group until they serve in the military, according to their label.

Big Hit’s parent company Hybe Corp. said in an email to The Associated Press that for now each member of the band will focus on individual activities scheduled around their military service plans.

In a letter to shareholders, Hybe CEO Park Geun downplayed financial concerns about the BTS hiatus, saying it has a fairly broad lineup of artists, including other popular K-pop groups such as Lee Seraphim and New jeans and westerns include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. .

“We have always been aware of the situation of compulsory military service, and we have been preparing for a long time to be ready for this moment,” Park wrote. “In the short term, individual activities are planned for several members in the first half of 2023, and we have already secured material, enabling BTS to continue their engagement with fans for the foreseeable future. will make.”

The announcement comes after Military Manpower Administration Commissioner Lee Ki-suk told lawmakers this month that the BTS members “required” to fulfill their military duties To ensure justice in the military services of the country.

Jin and other BTS members will undergo five weeks of combat training before being assigned to specific units and duties, according to officials from the Military Manpower Administration, who stressed that the singers will also undergo the same process. As given to other South Korean men.

While the South Korean military has for years assigned enlisted entertainers to produce radio and TV content promoting the military, the “entertainment soldier” system was abolished in 2013 after complaints of unfairness. was retired.

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

Whether BTS members must serve in the military has been a hotly debated issue in South Korea as Jin faces possible conscription early next year. Jin turns 30 in December, the age at which men can no longer delay enlistment. The other members are currently between the ages of 25 and 29, with Suga turning 30 in March.

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

The band – whose other members are J-Hope, RM, Jungkook, V and Jimin – was launched in 2013 and has a legion of global supporters who call themselves the “Army”.

After building a large following in Asia, BTS expanded their popularity in the West with the 2020 megahit “Dynamite”, the band’s first all-English song, making them the first K-pop act to top Billboard’s Hot 100. Act made. Sold out arenas around the world and even invited to speak at United Nations meetings.

Since the South Korean draft hinders young men from pursuing professional careers or studies, the creation of exemptions or exemptions from military duties is a highly sensitive issue. Public opinion polls in recent weeks show that the public is divided on whether BTS members should serve in the military.

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