HYBE has announced that the members of BTS will be pursuing their plans to fulfill their mandatory military service. Jin, the eldest, is set to begin the process after he finishes his scheduled activities for his solo release this October.
Jin had just announced on Oct. 15 at their “Yet To Come” concert that he was releasing a solo project in collaboration with a mystery artist. “I got the opportunity to work with someone I like, so a single will come out soon,” he said.
The rest of the members will be following suit “based on their own individual plans.”
“Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment,” the company said in their statement.
ICYDK, all male Korean citizens are required to serve in the military for 20 months before they turn 28. Jin, who is 29, had been permitted to postpone his enlistment after South Korea’s National Assembly passed the “BTS military service amendment” in 2021, which revised the Military Service Act to allow artists recognized by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to defer their military enlistment until they reach 30.
“Jin will cancel the request to delay enlistment in late October 2022 and follow the Military Manpower Administration’s relevant procedures for enlistment,” HYBE stated in a regulatory filing.
The question of when BTS were enlisting—or even if they would—has actually been a hotly contested political topic in recent years, with some lawmakers pushing for the group’s exemption from service. At present, figures who have given global prestige to South Korea through more traditional avenues such as the Olympics and international contests are exempt. Groups like BTS, who have contributed so much in pushing South Korea’s image in pop culture, do not neatly fit into that category.
Some personalities have also been pushing for BTS’ exemption, regardless of the members’ actual desires, in fear that the current Hallyu Wave will come to a halt when the group stops activities. When the group announced they were focusing on solo projects last June, Korea Singer Association president Lee Ja-yeon said as much.
It’s a huge responsibility to put on the seven members’ shoulders, and I can’t help but wonder if the prospect of finally rendering their services, thus finally putting an end to the debates and keeping them out of the spotlight for around two years, is at least giving them some relief.
“It’s the perfect time and the members are honored to serve,” HYBE stated. “‘Yet to Come (The Most Beautiful Moment)’ is more than a track from their latest album. It is a promise [that] there’s much more to come in the years ahead from BTS.”