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It was announced that the South Korean Ministry of National Defense will be conducting an opinion poll regarding BTS and their mandatory military service. As many know, South Korean men are required to serve their nation when the time comes. There is usually an age limit capped between 18 and 35 for this.
Occasionally, celebrities or special cases are allowed to defer enlistment for a year or two. Other recognized talents such as national athletes and musicians may be allowed exemption from service if it is already determined that they have served the nation with their talents. One such case is if they have won an Olympic medal. Those deemed physically unfit may also be exempt from service in severe cases or shuffled to units where they don’t need to be on the frontline.
Defense Minister Lee Jong Sub addressing the government. | News1
BTS’s case has been debated for years. It is widely recognized that they have brought much glory and fame to the nation. Some even argue that BTS has brought more recognition to South Korea than other artists or athletes. As the debate has been stretched out for far too long, BTS’s oldest member, Jin, is soon approaching his enlistment age limit. Time is of the essence with this delicate matter.
In response to this, Defense Minister Lee Jong Sub, announced on August 31, 2022, that they had set a deadline and ordered a quick opinion poll on the matter. He further explained that they would be making a careful decision based on synthesizing the opinions of various lawmakers and considering national interests on various levels.
Although he promised the decision to be made as soon as possible, the government remains cautious about the matter. Earlier in the year, the head of the Military Manpower Committee already expressed concerns about the lack of military resources and the principle of fairness in the matter.
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