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BTS members have dodge the obligatory military enrollment, but for how long

If new regulations are not done, Jin could be the first of the BTS’ members to be called into the military.

BTS, the popular South Korean K-pop group that has conquered millions of fans around the world has been dodging the military service required in their home country thanks to its success, but this might come to an end soon.

According to a report from Time Magazine, BTS band members could have taken advantage of announcing their supposed hiatus, which in reality according to its managing company, will be just focusing more on solo projects rather than on the group itself, to try their individual success before everyone is called to enroll into South Korean military, which is obligatory for every citizen of such Asian country.

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South Korea, a country technically still at war against North Korea, requires every able-bodied man aged 18 to 28 to serve in the military for at least 18 months. Currently, only Olympic and Asian Games medallists or globally recognized award-winning classical musicians are exempt from serving the military, but BTS’ success has sparked a debate on whether  Jin, Jimin, V, RM, J-Hope, Suga, and Jungkook should be exempt due to their labor on putting South Korea name and culture on a high note.

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However, BTS’ success and contribution to South Korea are unquestionable and, therefore, the debate about their enrollment. The band alone is worth more than $3.54bn (£2.8bn) annually to the South Korean economy, according to a 2018 report by Hyundai Research, just the same as 26 medium-sized companies. The institute said the band was the reason 800,000 foreign tourists had visited the country the previous year, according to a report published in The Guardian.

So, certainly, they have done much for South Korea and that does not involve changing their stage clothing into military uniforms.

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Why BTS members haven’t been called into the military?

A revision of South Korean military laws has allowed K-pop stars, like BTS members, to defer their military services until they turn 30.

In addition, they received in 2018 government medals for heightening the country’s cultural reputation, which has let them postpone their enrollment. But not for so long.

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It is expected that Jin, the oldest member of BTS and who turns 30 this December 4th, will be called into the military if no exemption is agreed by the actual government, but some have called this a problematic policy since it could lead to exemption for those priviledge, creating inequalities within South Korean society.

In the past, BTS’s members have said that they will answer the call of duty when the time comes, but their management has been pressing the government to approve a regulation that could exempt K-pop artist, just like athletes or classical musician does.

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