The members of K-pop supergroup BTS will enlist in the military, their agency said on Monday, putting an end to a years-long debate on whether the stars deserved exemptions from mandatory service.
All able-bodied South Korean men under the age of 30 must perform about two years of military service, mainly because the country remains technically at war with nuclear-armed North Korea.
BTS are credited with generating billions for the South Korean economy, and their label enjoyed a surge in profits despite holding fewer concerts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Oldest member Jin, 29, has put off his service for as long as he can and faces the imminent prospect of a full stint – meaning nearly two years out of the public eye – when he turns 30 in December.
Bighit Music, part of BTS’ agency Hybe, said on Monday that “the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfil their military service”.