South Korea Passes Law Allowing K-Pop Stars To Postpone Compulsory Military Service
The South Korean government has passed a new law that will allow K-Pop stars to postpone their compulsory military service.
Able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 28 are require to serve around 20 months in the military and must put their original career on hold until this is completed, but a new law will allow the likes of BTS group members to defer their service.
The move comes as the government acknowledges that K-Pop has played a huge part in enhancing Korea’s global image.
According to BBC News, the revised law is an early birthday present to BTS member Jin, who turns 28 soon.
As per the Military Manpower Administration, 86% of men who join the Korean military are between the ages of 18 and 21.
The new Military Service Act states that ‘a pop culture artist who was recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have greatly enhanced the image of Korea both within the nation and throughout the world’ is allowed to defer their service until the age of 30.
Apparently the amendment was first suggested in September soon after BTS’s song Dynamite got on the US Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart. According to BBC, it became the first non-English language song to enter the chart at number one.
Speaking to ABC News, Jeon Yong-gi of the Democratic Party, one of the lawmakers who drafted the bill, said:
A number of Korean men in their 20’s, including BTS, often had trouble proving their talents due to concerns about the military service. This amendment has solved that concern by a little.
With Jin, the eldest member of BTS, approaching his 28th birthday, the topic of the men serving in the military has been discussed a lot recently.
During a press conference last month, Jin addressing the matter saying, ‘Military service is a matter of course, and as our [BTS] members had discussed many times, we all plan to enroll in the military some day.’
BTS fans took to social media to express their excitement of the news. One fan wrote, ‘The new “BTS Law” passed in South Korea which means it allows Kpop idols to postpone their military service until they are 30!! which means two more years with Jin!!’
A very excited BTS fan tweeted, ‘OMG WAIT A MINUTE- JIN DOESNT HAVE TO GO TO THE MILITARY NEXT YEAR OMFG.’
Another person said, ‘Military service age extended to 30. Jin Hyungie staying hooooome. Happy birthday indeed!!!!!!! [sic]’
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