ARMYs, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief as your prayers might have just been answered! BTS is here to stay with us, at least for a few more years before officially serving the military.
The 7-boy group are not just trailblazers for emerging K-pop acts, but also groundbreakers for South Korea’s amendment of law. On December 1, South Korea’s National Assembly passed a revision of the Military Service Act that allows K-pop stars to postpone their military service until they are 30.
Previously, the law only allowed special exemptions for top artists, athletes, and musicians that have won prestigious competitions. However, this does not include K-pop stars. The new revision now allows K-pop entertainers to apply for deferment proven that they elevate South Korea’s cultural influence around the world. All 7 members of BTS qualify after being awarded the country’s Hwagwan orders of cultural merit in 2018 during the Korean Popular Culture & Arts Awards.
BTS is the reason behind the law revision for their significant contribution in making South Korea known to the world. Lawmakers proposed the revision shortly after BTS’ single Dynamite, released in August, topped the US Billboard Hot 100. The feat makes them the first South Korean act to debut at number 1.
BTS Law Amendment calls for more celebration
Jin, the oldest member of the band, turns 28 on December 4 but the celebration could have negatively affected his career. Their country’s previous law requires all able-bodied men to enlist in the military for approximately 20 months upon turning 28. Had the law not been amended, he would have had to enlist to the military as soon as possible, and not perform for around two years.
During a presscon for their new album BE, Jin shared his thoughts saying, “As a Korean youth, military service is a natural duty that, as we have always stated, we’re ready to oblige whenever the country calls upon us. We actually talk about this a lot, but all of us are planning to serve in the military [when the time comes].”
The new law has given ARMY more reasons to celebrate, indeed. BTS recently scored another historic number 1 debut on the Hot 100 with their latest single, Life Goes On. The track is the first Hot 100 topper in the chart’s 62-year history sung predominantly in Korean. Their latest album BE also topped the Billboard 200, and BTS got their first Grammy nomination in a major category.