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Did BTS take a break for military service? Debate resumes

Did BTS take a break for military service? Debate resumes

Many were heartbroken over the BTS' decision to take a break from their group activities. While the official reason given was plans to focus on solo projects, the real reason may be something else.

Lawmaker Yoon Sang-hyun told Reuters that the real reason is band member Jin's Military service.

In South Korea, all able-bodied men between the age of 18-28 are supposed to serve in the military for two years as part of the country's efforts to defend the nation against its hostile neighbour North Korea. Exceptions are made for athletes and musicians.

In 2019, the law was revised to allow globally recognised K-pop stars like BTS members to delay their military service until the age of 30. However, BTS members serving in the military will be much different because their work centers on themes like peace. Jin is the band's oldest member and he is 29 now.

Parliament is currently discussing a new amendment that will allow K-pop stars to get away with mere three weeks of military training instead of two years of service.

Lawmaker Yoon said waiting for the parliament's decision has been stressful for every BTS member which has led to taking a break from performing. Choi Kwang-ho, secretary-general of the Korea Music Content Association, said the wait for the decision has been "excruciating". He added that the "young artists have been tortured with hopes that never come true".

Yoon proposed the three-week training programme because BTS has "done a job that would take over 1,000 diplomats to do''. He added that BTS has raised Korea's profile around the world through "soft power". It should be taken into account when considering their military service.

According to a survey, nearly 60% of South Koreans supported the bill and 33% opposed it.

Along with K-pop, engineers and researchers in the computer chip and other tech fields are also up to benefit from a change in-laws. The new administration of President Yoon Suk-yeol is considering it. On the other hand, the Ministry of Defence thinks the constitutional requirement should remain as it is and exemptions are unfair.

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TAGS:BTS South Korea 
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