SEOUL (Reuters) – J-Hope, a member of Grammy-nominated K-pop group BTS, began his mandatory military service in South Korea on Tuesday, the second member of the group to do so.
Yonhap news agency reported that the singer kept a low profile when a truck carrying him pulled into the venue of his military enlistment ceremony in Wonju, about 87 kilometers (54 miles) from Seoul.
“I’ll come back later,” the singer, whose real name is Jung Ho-seok, said Monday in a post on fan platform Weverse, along with a photo of his shaved head. More than 10,000 fan comments wished him a safe return after completing his military duties.
Spokespeople for HYBE (352820.KS), which owns the band’s agency Bighit Music, declined to confirm his enlistment details.
J-Hope, 29, is the second member of the People’s Battalion to enlist after Jin, the eldest, who joined the army in December.
All healthy men in South Korea between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve in the military for 18 to 21 months.
The military enlistment of BTS members has attracted attention not only from fans but also from politicians in South Korea. Some lawmakers have floated the idea of giving the strike group an exemption from mandatory military service to allow them to continue performing instead.
However, the group’s agency said last year that all members plan to complete military service by 2025.
Reporting by Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Jimmy Freed
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