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.