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Should BTS members have to put their musical careers on hold for military service? Updated: 2021-11-26 17:06:11 KST

Should BTS members have to put their careers on hold to serve in the military?
The time is ticking as the oldest member, Jin, is due to join the military by December of next year.
A sub-committee of the South Korean National Assembly's National Defense Committee met on Thursday to discuss making changes to the current Military Service Act.
But the lawmakers decided to defer the decision until after more open discussions have taken place.
Under the current law all able-bodied South Korean men have to complete military service.
But individuals with esteemed achievements in arts and sports can earn exemptions.
Classical or Korean traditional musicians, for example, can earn exemption through professional achievements.
But the achievements of pop artists are not enough to earn exemption meaning unless the rules are changed, all seven members of BTS will have to fulfill their military service obligations.
Those in favor of military exemption for pop artists have argued that pop culture is more influential around the world and the economic effect is undeniable.
On the other hand, those who oppose argue that if the rules are too lenient the standard will be too low and that other industries should be treated fairly as well.
In the meantime the Defense Ministry remains cautious on the matter.

"It is inevitable that situational variables will have to be considered. It seems most likely that the immediate impact is due to the rapid population decline. But then social consensus is also needed. Isn't that a fair implementation of military service? Considering these factors, it's difficult to expand the exemption rules for arts and sports personnel, and it is important to be careful."

For now it was reported that all members of BTS have applied for deferment of their services until they are 30.
A new law passed in June this year allows certain recognized individuals to delay their service until the age of 30 and BTS are the only South Korean pop stars who can utilize the law to their benefit as they were given an award by the Culture Minister back in 2018.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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