K-pop stars BTS perform military service

SEOUL (Reuters) – K-pop group BTS will be embarking on mandatory military service, their agency said Monday, beginning soon with its oldest member Jin.

Jane, 29, has put off his service as long as possible and faces the imminent prospect of a full assignment β€” meaning nearly two years out of the public eye β€” when he turns 30 in December.

Since their debut in 2013, BTS has become a worldwide sensation thanks to their upbeat hits and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

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β€œJin will cancel the enlistment deferment request in late October 2022 and follow the relevant procedures in the Military Manpower Administration for enlistment,” HYBE’s management group for the seven-member squad said. (352820.KS) He said in a regulatory filing.

She added that all other members will also serve the mandatory military service according to their own plans.

“Both the company and the BTS members are looking forward to reuniting as a group again around 2025 following their commitment to serve,” HYBE-owned Bighit Music, which operates BTS, said in a separate statement.

All healthy South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 28 must serve in the military for 18 to 21 months as part of defense efforts against a nuclear-armed North Korea. However, some classes have won exemptions, or served shorter terms, including Olympic and Asian Games medalists and classical musicians and dancers who have won first prizes in certain competitions. Some lawmakers have called for BTS to be excused.

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BTS announced a break in June from group music activities to pursue individual projects, raising questions about the group’s future.

They gathered for a free concert Saturday in Busan in support of South Korea’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in the port city.

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(Reporting by Su Hyang Choi) Editing by Tom Hogg and Susan Fenton

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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