With BTS's new song "Dynamite" topping the charts worldwide and rewriting global pop history, the members' military service issue is emerging as the new hot topic.
The reason is that Jin, the eldest member born in 1992, must join the military by the end of next year no matter what under the current law.
Considering the youngest member Jungkook's enlistment is still some time away, fans might not see the group as a complete whole for the next five years. Therefore, the government and the political circles are reportedly taking careful consideration about delaying the enlistment of the BTS members.
One of the possible measures is to delay the enlistment of all the BTS members for five years so that Jin, the eldest member, can join the army at the same time as Jungkook (born in 1997).
The military exemption is seen negatively by the public, therefore, the government is trying to aim at a measure that can minimize the absence period of the group by having all the members join the military at the same time.
According to this plan, member Suga born in 1993, leader RM, and J-hope born in 1994, and Jimin as well as V born in 1995 are also expected to join the military together with the youngest member Jungkook.
This plan is much bolder than the suggestion of revising the military service law of delayed enlistment that was proposed by Rep. Jeon Yong Ki of the Democratic Party of Korea on September 3.
Previously, Rep. Jeon Yong Ki suggested the revision of the military service law to include individuals who made an outstanding contribution in enhancing national prestige in the field of pop culture and arts and are recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to delay the conscription.
The current military service law allows individuals who have outstanding contributions in the field of sports to promote national prestige such as athletes to delay enlistment until the age of 28. The prior suggestion was to include individuals in the field of pop culture and arts.
The Ministry of National Defense plans to watch the process of the discussion of the related bills proposed to the National Assembly. However, they have expressed they will suggest their opinion in a positive direction once a public consensus is formed.
Previously, in November of last year, the government announced a plan to improve the alternative military service system. However, the plan excluded the areas of pop culture and arts.
In fact, many say that the most active period for an idol group is from their late teens to their early 20s. The bill to postpone the military enlistment might be a better plan to help promote the Korean Wave and the national prestige rather than having the idol groups be included in the alternative service.
Many netizens are still discussing the plans and expressing their opinions about the postponement of the enlistment of the members. Many netizens are stating that BTS deserves to be exempted from the military as they have contributed to the nation greatly.
"Olympic gold medals are valuable but BTS did much more to let the nation of Korea be known to the world."
"BTS is world-class now I don't know why they're aren't exempted."
"I feel the government is prolonging the decision and they are worried about the public opinion if they are exempt from the military. The members said they'll go the military but the government should just exempt them for their contributions."
"Does the government want to earn more money through them and then send them off to the military if they stop being popular? That's what this sounds like."