ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Media & Entertainment

South Korea paves way for BTS to delay military service

Culture minister given power to nominate pop stars for 2-year deferment

Fans of South Korean boy band BTS have been dreading the looming military service facing its members.   © AP

SEOUL -- Members of K-pop sensation BTS will likely be able to postpone their compulsory stint in the army until the age of 30 after lawmakers passed a revision to the country's Military Service Law on Tuesday.

The clock has been ticking for BTS. Normally, South Korean men are required to begin 18 months of military service by the time they turn 28. The oldest member of the group, Jin, turns 28 on Friday. The youngest member, Jungkook, is 23.

Fans of BTS -- known, ironically perhaps, as the BTS Army -- had been dreading the looming deadline and calling for exception for pop superstars.

Exemptions already existed for Olympic athletes, classical musicians and others deemed to have made significant contributions to the country, but there had been no such allowances for pop musicians, no matter how globally famous.

The revision passed by the National Assembly allows the culture minister to nominate particularly successful pop stars to be allowed to postpone signing up for the military until they are 30.

Analysts say that BTS members will likely be among the first to benefit from the rule change, as the group is enjoying massive global popularity.

Last week, BTS became the first Korean act to be nominated for a Grammy Award with its English song "Dynamite." The song also set another record, as the first song by a Korean group to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more