The oldest member Jin of the K-pop boy band BTS will soon report for required military service, their agency announced on Monday.
Jin, 29, has delayed his duty for as long as he can, but when he turns 30 in December, he will be facing the impending threat of a full sentence, which would mean spending nearly two years away from the public spotlight.
With their peppy songs and social efforts focused on uplifting young people, BTS has gained international fame since its 2013 debut.
The management company for the seven-piece band, HYBE, stated in a regulatory filing that Jin “would cancel the request to delay enlistment in late October 2022 and follow the Military Manpower Administration’s appropriate processes for enlistment.”
According to their individual plans, the other members will also complete the required military service, it was said.
According to a second statement from Bighit Music, which is owned by HYBE and handles BTS, “both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.”
As part of measures to protect against a nuclear-armed North Korea, all South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 28 who are physically capable must serve for between 18 and 21 months in the military. However, several groups—including medalists from the Olympics and Asian Games and classical musicians and dancers who place first in competitions—have received exemptions or have had their periods reduced. BTS’s exception had been demanded by some politicians.
BTS said in June that it would take a sabbatical from group musical endeavours to focus on separate projects, which prompted speculation about the band’s future.
In support of South Korea’s quest to host the World Expo 2030 in the port city of Busan, they came together once more to give a free concert there on Saturday.