Big Hit Entertainment is speaking out in response to military enlistment rumors regarding the BTS members.
On October 21 KST, Rep. Ahn Min Seok of the Democratic Party of Korea was attending a parliamentary audit of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, when he mentioned, "It seems that one of the BTS members will be enlisting in the military this year. I think it's decided that pop artists will not be given special military service privileges."
He then went on to mention that in the 1970s a system was created that rewarded 'pure artists' with military exemption if they placed within the top two in international competitions. However, as 'pop artists' have continued to blur the lines between 'pop art' and 'pure art,' it no longer seems appropriate to give such privileges to 'pure artists' only.
"There have been a lot of opinions even before BTS about granting special military service exemption to pop artists," Minister Park Yang Woo added. "However, the Military Manpower Administration and the Ministry of National Defense want to reduce the number of special military service cases and change the content if possible, and we (the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) want to increase the number of people involved in sports and culture who can better promote and engage [the global audience]."
The minister then added that while sports and classical arts tend to have clear international and domestic accolades and competitions, it is harder to create a standard in regards to pop art.
After the meeting, Big Hit Entertainment spoke up about Rep. Ahn Min Seok's mentioning of BTS's enlistment plans that day.
"We're not sure why a statement like that would come out," a representative for the agency remarked. "It isn't true that a BTS member will be enlisting this year."