Four months after announcing plans to pursue solo careers, the members of K-pop sensation BTS are officially preparing to fulfill their home country’s required military service.
The seven-piece act’s Hybe agency just recently took to social media to reveal the news, which arrives after many ARMY diehards lamented South Korea’s conscription laws – and the resulting impact on BTS. In the nation of about 52 million residents, all able-bodied males must enlist in the military for roughly two years, typically beginning the term between the ages of 18 and 28.
Of course, given the considerable commercial success, cultural reach, and ultra-dedicated fanbase of BTS, there was ample pushback against the mandatory enlistment as the 28th birthday of the group’s oldest member, Jin, approached. Lawmakers ultimately created an exception that enabled certain artists (BTS among them, needless to say) to delay serving until they turned 30, and there have long been reports and talks of waiving the requirement for BTS altogether.
But with BTS having taken a break to spearhead solo projects – and with Jin set to turn 30 on December 4th – the individuals behind “Butter” are poised to bite the bullet and join up before reuniting in 2025, according to Hybe.
The Seoul-headquartered company, which has tapped Universal Music to release BTS members’ solo efforts, made the announcement via a message published (in English, Japanese, and Mandarin alike) on Big Hit Music’s various social accounts. At the time of this writing, the hours-old post had racked up north of 530,000 likes, nearly 200,000 retweets, and approximately 30,000 replies on Twitter.
“BIGHIT MUSIC is proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfill their military service,” the Hybe division wrote. “After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavors, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve.
“Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere. BIGHIT Music has focused to the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that’s now.
“Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans. Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.
“With the release of their first anthology album earlier this year it opened the path to allow the members to take some time to explore individual projects. As part of the HYBE family, we support and encourage our artists and are beyond proud that they will each now have time to explore their unique interests and do their duty by being of service to the country they call home.
“‘Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)’ is more than a track from their latest album, it is a promise, there’s much more yet to come in the years ahead from BTS,” the lengthy text concludes.
If BTS is in fact to reunite in 2025, members besides Jin must enlist sooner rather than later; Suga will turn 30 in March of 2023, but J-Hope’s 30th birthday will arrive in February of 2024, whereas RM will turn 30 in September of the same year. Jimin and V are currently 26 years old, whereas Jungkook is 25.