According to a report from Newsweek, Singer Jin of K-Pop sensation BTS may face severe restrictions in regards to performances overseas next year while he serves in the South Korean military.
The situation in some ways echoes what happened in the United States in the late 1950s when singer Elvis Presley got drafted into the army.
Beginning next year, male South Korean celebrities who are over 27 and have yet to complete their military service must get permission from the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism prior to performing any overseas promotional work. What’s more, this work must specifically “help spread Korean culture” overseas.
All South Korean men must serve in the country’s military for two years by the time they are 28. As Jin is currently 27 and has not yet served, he must do so soon.
At the moment, none of this is a big problem, as BTS so far has no tour dates scheduled for 2020, let alone overseas ones.
This past October, the band completed their Love Yourself world tour.
Big Hit Entertainment, which manages BTS, has yet to comment on Jin’s situation, but Jin himself has said in the past that he was happy to serve. In April of this year, CBS Sunday Morning asked him about it, and he said, “As a Korean, it’s natural and someday, when duty calls, BTS will be ready to respond and do our best.”
In November, the South Korean government announced new regulations, which lowered the number of exceptions from military service and tightened the rules relating to waivers from it. These new regulations, in essence, mean that all male K-Pop stars will eventually have to perform military service.
On the positive side, starting next year, K-Pop stars who are over 25 but under 27 will no longer need permission to travel overseas for work if they have not yet begun military service.