K-pop Stars BTS to Take a Break to Serve in South Korea’s Military

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K-pop superstars BTS are planning to fulfill their mandatory service in the South Korean military, their record label announced on Monday, Oct. 17.

The group’s seven members will carry out their military service “based on their own individual plans,” with the group’s oldest member, 29-year-old Jin, starting the process at the end of the month following his solo music release, BigHit Music said in a statement.

“Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere,” BTS’ label said.

The label added it had been focused on “the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that’s now.”

The announcement comes days after BTS performed a free concert to more than 50,000 fans in Busan, South Korea, on Oct. 15.

“After the phenomenal concert to support Busan’s bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavors, it’s the perfect time and the members of BTS are honored to serve,” BigHit Music said.

Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men are expected to serve 18 to 21 months in the military before their 28th birthday. The group was granted a two-year deferral after the South Korean government passed a bill allowing the largest K-pop stars to delay their service until the age of 30.

South Korean military officials have signaled in recent weeks that they wanted to conscript the group’s members for mandatory service, according to the Associated Press.

BTS members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook announced in June that they would be taking a hiatus to pursue solo projects outside of the group.

J-Hope released a solo album, “Jack in the Box,” in July, and became the first South Korean artist to headline a major music festival in the U.S. when he performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago the following month.

Other members have also released music, including Jungkook’s collaboration with artist Charlie Puth, “Left and Right,” while other members like Jin are set to release new solo work in the coming weeks.

BTS performs in Busan, Korea on Oct. 15, 2022.
BTS performs in Busan, Korea, on Oct. 15.Bighit Music

BTS released an anthology album, “Proof,” earlier this year, which also included three new songs. Their label called one of the songs, “Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment),” as “more than just a track from their latest album.”

“It is a promise, there’s much more to come in the years ahead from BTS,” BigHit Music said.

The group expects to reconvene around 2025, according to their record label.



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