BTS may be among K-pop stars to serve shorter military service


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BTS - Abc New Australia
BTS - Abc New Australia

South Korea is debating shortening mandatory military service for K-pop stars such as BTS from about two years to three weeks.

The issue is coming sharply into focus due to the oldest member of band, Jin, turning 30 next year.

Under a 2019 revision of the law, globally recognised K-pop stars were allowed to put off their service until they were 30.

Military service is hugely controversial in South Korea where all able-bodied men aged between 18 and 28 must fulfil their duties as part of efforts to defend their country against nuclear-armed North Korea.

Over the years, some exemptions have become available to people such as Olympics and Asian Games medal winners, classical musicians and dancers who win top prizes at certain competitions,  allowing them to either put off service or do it for a shorter time.

Parliament is now debating a bill that would shorten military service for K-pop stars.

Defence Minister Lee Jong-sup, speaking at a parliamentary session, said that by allowing BTS to continue performing, the military could serve national interests without affecting the already shrinking pool of personnel resources due to low birth rates.

BTS’s management, Big Hit, did not respond to a request for comment.

“Even if they join the military, there would be a way to give them a chance to practise and perform together if there are scheduled concerts abroad,” Mr Lee said.

“As many people highly value [artists serving] in the military, that may help boost their popularity even more.”

check out the full article @ ABC News Australia


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