BTS members and other Kpop stars will not be exempted from the South Korean military proposal, a South Korean government official confirmed. While attending the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture, the Culture Minister Park Yang-woo said in Paris on Wednesday (Nov. 20) that, “In the case of BTS, I personally wish I could allow exemptions for them under certain standards, but the Military Manpower Administration and the Ministry of National Defense [in charge of conscription] are inclined to downsize the overall scope [of exemption].”
South Korean men have been recruited to participate in the country’s military for almost 2 years, due to the country’s continued conflict with North Korea, which is currently at war because the Korean War ended in 1953. Jin is the eldest in BTS and he is expected to begin service in the foreseeable future, as he will reach 28 years of age in December 2020, the peak age at which an individual will perform his or her compulsory service.
A government investigated whether artistic accomplishments, such as BTS ‘ historic increase and record-breaking, justify an exempt status comparable to those received by athletes and traditional artists who compete and perform exemplarily. “Unlike classical arts or sports, it is difficult to fix the criteria of the selection in the popular culture and arts fields, which makes it difficult to institutionalize [a waiver system],” said Park.
The South Korean Military Manpower Administration on November 21, 2019, also addressed the matter, related to the Korea Herald. “On the request that the exemption needs to be expanded to pop artists like BTS, which has raised the national image, we decided not to waiver military service, considering the government position to enhance fairness and downsize the number of exemption due to manpower shortage.”