BTS members are in their 20s and are heading to the military soon. With their career being at its peak at the moment, fans have been hoping for the boys to be exempted from enlisting. Unfortunately for ARMYS, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook are still obliged to do their military service. But public opinion could potentially change that.
Article 39 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea states that all citizens have “the duty of national defense.” The law has no exception unless they are Olympic medalists, accomplished international athletes, and other individuals. But, in the music sphere, only classical artists are exempted from the rule. BTS is a K-pop boy group, which means they are not eligible for such exclusions.
However, with BTS’s global success and outstanding work as cultural ambassadors for South Korea, many are calling for RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook’s exemptions. According to Defense Minister nominee Suh Wook, the public has a say to whether the boys will be obliged to enlist or not.
“If the ministry agrees, and the public is largely in favor of BTS’s exemption, public opinion could potentially sway the outcome,” Koreaboo reported.
While many are hopeful for BTS to be exempted from military service, some pointed out that it would be unfair for other idols who gave up their fame to complete their duty as an able-bodied Korean citizen.
“It's unfair for others, who also work hard in the peak of their success, but they still served in the military. I know that they are so famous and they contribute a lot of recognition in their country, but fame couldn't save their country,” one wrote.
Reaching the superstardom status in the K-pop world has its advantages and disadvantages. Unlike in Hollywood where most celebrities can become famous overnight, idols had to work their way up to the top. In fact, most of the highly-successful artists in the South Korean music industry right now started when they were really young.
One of the huge advantages of reaching the superstardom status is when all those hard work and challenges for years are finally paid off. In short, K-pop stars finally get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
However, one of the major disadvantages is that their career, at one point, will come to a screeching halt. South Koreans, including celebrities, are obliged to enlist in the military by ages 18 to 28. While women are not required to do so, they are allowed to do this duty if they want to.