Why Did BTS Decide To Start Mandatory Military Service Amid Government's Divided Thoughts?

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BTS left ARMYs sad and heartbroken as its agency, HYBE, confirmed the members' military enlistment starting in December 2022 with the oldest member, Jin.

Talks about BTS members' military service have been hot topics for months as the South Korean government was divided about whether they should allow them to undergo military service. In 2020, they approved the decree BTS Law to postpone the eldest members' enlistments as the law allows people who have made "great contributions" to Korean pop culture not to serve until they are 30 years old.

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Although Culture Minister Park Bo Gyoon assured that a decision would be released by the end of this year, BTS members decided on their future through an announcement.

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Why Did BTS Members Want To Serve the Military?

Years before BTS confirmed its plans to enlist the members, they already spoke about the scenario in 2020.

During a press conference in 2020 (as quoted by The Korea Times), BTS members made a promise that they would voluntarily go to the military when "the time comes."

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"I think military service is a duty as a Korean citizen, and I will respond at any time if the country calls," Jin said. He shared a similar sentiment during an interview with a US broadcaster, saying that the members were ready to be called to serve the country,

Suga, meanwhile, referenced the situation in his track What Do You Think? The 2020 song has the lyrics: "Woo woo, we'll be sure to go to the military when it's time, so all the bastards who tried to sell our name to freeload off us, shut up."

BTS members' decision came up amid the lack of clarity surrounding their path in the military.

BTS Jin Will Be the 1st One To Serve the Military

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Among the seven members of BTS, Jin will be the first member to begin his military service.

Big Hit Music also confirmed on Monday that Jin would start his service and that it expects all members to finish by 2025.

"The agency and the members hope they will be able to resume group activities in 2025 (after all of them finish the service), but for now, it is not easy to specify exactly when it will be. So each member will focus on individual activities for the time being according to their military service schedule," the agency continued.

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