Members of BTS, the K-pop supergroup, are planning to undertake military service, the band’s record label confirmed Monday, with Jin, the oldest member, aiming to start the process at the end of the month.
Military service is mandatory in South Korea, where almost all able-bodied men are required to serve in the army for 18 months by the time they are 28 years old.
South Korea’s parliament passed a bill in 2020 allowing pop stars – namely those who “excel in popular culture and art” – to defer their service until the age of 30.
With Jin turning 30 this year, and the band’s announcement of a break in June from group musical activities to pursue solo projects, members are now making plans to serve.
BTS is expected to reconvene as a group around 2025, according to BIGHIT Music.
The record label said it has been looking at the timing of the band’s military service, “to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men,” and it said the time was “now.”
“Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government,” the label said, adding: “Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans.”
The country’s defense minister said in August that BTS might still be able to perform overseas while serving in the military, the Reuters news agency reported.