BTS Faces Disbandment as Military Enlistment Deadline Approaches

BTS disband military

Photo Credit: I Dare U JK / CC by 3.0

Will BTS disband in the face of upcoming military service? Here’s what we know.

So far, the South Korean government has seemed unwilling to give BTS an exemption. Seoul’s defense ministry has suggested that exceptions may be made. But Defense Minister Suh Wook told local lawmakers that exceptions are not under consideration. However, a postponement is not being ruled out, either.

Jin, the oldest member of the K-pop group, is required by law to enlist by the end of the year. All South Korean men between ages 18 and 28 must join the armed services as conscripts. Dodging the draft is considered a crime, though exemptions do exist for Olympic medalists and “artists who place at least second place in international contests.” (If the most popular K-pop group is an international contest, I’d argue BTS takes the top spot.)

South Korea has exceptions in place for cultural leaders, but they’re issued very rarely. In 2018, South Korea granted an exemption to Son Heung-min, a superstar soccer player.

So will BTS disband if the band doesn’t get their exemption? Unlikely. Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Park Jimin, V, RM, and Jungkook have all extended their contract with Big Hit Entertainment. All seven boys have resigned with the company for another seven-year contract – through 2026.

As part of the contract announcement, Big Hit Entertainment said it was focusing heavily on BTS.

The company created a team dedicated to “provide systematic support and investment” into the K-pop group and its career. You can bet part of that support is finding a way to get the band’s military enlistment postponed or exempted. It’s a cash machine at this point.

“It is our philosophy that we should cater the best to artists who are achieving an unprecedented global success,” Big Hit Entertainment says. BTS is arguably one of the biggest cultural forces to come out of South Korea. The group has led the charge in the K-pop genre becoming the dominant music force that it is today.

The lengthy span of the recent Big Hit contract will allow for BTS to stay together if mandatory military service isn’t postponed. Each member will have to serve two years in the South Korean army. Jin can only postpone his mandatory service until the end of 2021 without an exemption.

South Koreans themselves are divided over whether or not the K-pop group should be required to serve. K-pop group 2PM was a six-member group before a member left to serve in 2017. That group will be whole again for the first time in 2021.

5 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Trisha Singh

    I would really request all the BTS members to go for their 2 year service for their country together as if you all will go to military service it will take a long time and we only of 6 more years from 2020 so a huge request..

  2. Avatar
    Trisha Singh

    I would really request all the BTS members to go for their 2 year service for their country together as if you all will go to military service it will take a long time and we only of 6 more years from 2020 so a huge request..

  3. Avatar
    Sgakaz

    I think if Jin goes then at least two others maybe not Suga just yet, being he just had surgery but definitly one of the rappers say J Hope or RM and another vocal line member I think not Tae he could do acting and then half way through the remaining members go so it would be three years total till all back together with only one year being not active but maybe release some material made before enlistment then when Jin gets out and while Tae is still in Jin should also do acting he has a drama degree he should give it some use

  4. Avatar
    Sghe

    Uh not really all of the bts members dont have to go until they are 30, international age, and seokjin is 27. This was a new law passed by South Korea just for the BTS members