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BTS will take a break due to militay service in Korea: When will the K-pop band return?

BTS fans can expect a break of lat least one year while the members fulfill their state-mandated military service in their home of South Korea.

Update:
FILE PHOTO: BTS pose on the red carpet as they attend the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona/File Photo
MARIA ALEJANDRA CARDONAREUTERS

The South Korean group BTS has announced its provisional separation in order to comply with their mandatory military service as citizens of South Korea. This comes after the group made a public statement in June that they would be taking a break from making music with one of the members, Kim Nam-joon, said that “After 10 years of living as BTS and working on all our schedules, it’s physically impossible for me to mature anymore.”

When will the band members’ military service begin?

BIGHIT MUSIC said in a press release that they were “proud to announce [...] that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfill their military service.”

“Its the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve,” said the organization.

In recent months, rumors of the government granting the band an exemption have circulated. Recently, soccer player Heung-Min Son was granted an exception, with the government citing his artistic and cultural significance for the country. However, it has been the artists themselves who have rejected this possibility.

“Jin will start the process as soon as he finishes his schedule to release his solo work at the end of October. The rest of the group members will take into account their individual agendas to carry out military service as well,” said the company.

The statement also says that fans can expect the band to return to the stage in 2025.

When did compulsory service begin in South Korea?

Military service has been compulsory for all able-bodied men ages eighteen to twenty-eight in South Korea since 1957, four years after the armistice between North and South Korea was signed in 1953. Those mandated to participate must serve for at least eighteen months, either in the country’s Army or Navy.

In recent years the South Korean government has lowered the standards of entry for the military over concerns that they would not be able to attract the forces necessary. Lower numbers, in part, relate to the country’s low birth rate. Additionally, to comply with the International Labor Organization’s Forced Labor Convention, the government had to give those mandated the possibility to serve in a military or civilian capacity.

By ensuring that the BTS members complete their service, the government may hope that they will inspire other young people to follow suit.

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