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South Korea passes law allowing K-pop bands to postpone military service | Ents & Arts News

By newadmin / Published on Wednesday, 02 Dec 2020 18:21 PM / No Comments / 23 views


South Korea’s parliament has passed a bill to allow global K-pop stars, such as BTS, to delay their mandatory national service to age 30.

All able-bodied South Korean men aged between 18 and 28 are required to serve the military for two years.

The amendment to the Military Service Act allows exemptions for K-pop megastars, who boost South Korea’s cultural image and economy with their international appeal.

BTS performed at the American Music Awards from South Korea
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BTS recently won a Grammy nomination

South Korea allows eligible students to defer duties up to 28-years-old – having previously granted exemptions for high-profile classical musicians and Olympic athletes.

No K-pop stars were exempt from the military service but the new bill will enable entertainers – with a recommendation from the culture minister – to delay the military requirement up to the age of 30.

The eldest member of BTS, 27-year-old Jin, is nearing official enlistment age at a time the seven-member boy band are rewriting K-pop history.

Jin of boy band BTS is seen on departure at Gimpo International Airport on November 21, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea
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27-year-old Jin is nearing military service age but the new law means he is exempt until he is 30

Since the group’s launch seven years ago, BTS has grown an international fan base with its catchy, upbeat music.

The band recently received its first No 1 hit single on the US Billboard charts with its song Dynamite and won a Grammy nomination.

Jeon Yong-gi, who co-authored the bill, said: “Pop artists tend to make their highest achievements in their 20s but many of them had to pursue a graduate degree to delay their service.”

Jin and other band mates have previously said they would fulfil their national duties, as required.

Military service is a controversial issue in South Korea.

A recent poll by local news outlet E-Today showed around 53% of people supported special treatment for the band, while 47% of respondents opposed it.

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