As BTS sets new records and milestones, including being the first Korean artist to achieve number 1 in Billboard's 'HOT 100', there has been a heated discussion in the online community over their enlistment in the military. Amid the proposal to revise the Military Service Act underway, more and more netizens are in favor of delaying the boy group's military service.
On September 4th, there has been much fervent discussion among netizens in various online communities about the application of the special military service exemption. There are netizens who claim that BTS has not only played an important part in promoting Korea and increased the status of the nation, they have also made a significant economic impact. Some netizens even claim that the economic value that the group has brought to Korea is much greater than that of athletes who won Olympic medals (Athletes who win Olympic medals are exempted from the military). Another netizen claimed that BTS has earned a military exemption because the group has brought a lot of money to Korea.
On September 2nd, Gu Ja Hyung a broadcast writer and singer-songwriter has even made a petition in the Blue House bulletin board stating, "President Moon, please open up a way for BTS to be exempted from the mandatory military service." Gu Ja Hyung stated, "The Korean society should now repay BTS' good deeds and contributions they have given to the citizens of this nation during this time of the coronavirus crisis. BTS has given great comfort and much hope to the people amid the pandemic. The boy group has not only achieved number 1 on the Billboard top 200 album chart, but they have also even achieved number 1 on Billboard's 'HOT 100' chart on September 1st, 2020. They have set many new records and should be given a special military service exemption."
However, on the other hand, there are netizens who are in opposition to this argument over the group's exemption from the mandatory military service. Many netizens have claimed formidable equity as one Netizen stated, "The military is the duty of a South Korean man, not an option. If one person is exempted from the military service, the morale of the military will fall." Another netizen claimed, "Everyone should be faithful in serving for the nation's military defense. There should be no exceptions for the fairness of all men."
Amid this discussion, politicians and netizens have clarified that the revision in the Military Service Act that is being currently discussed is for a possible delay of their enlistment and not an exemption from the mandatory service. Jeon Yong Ki, a democratic party representative stated on September 3rd that the revision in the Military Service Act is to include individuals with great national contributions in the pop culture and arts section to be subject to the postponement of the military service.
The main point of the revision is to include the individuals who have been recognized by the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Tourism to have greatly contribute to the enhancement of the status and dignity of Korea to be included in the postponement of conscription. The individuals who have been recommended and passing the screening will be able to delay their enlistment until the age of 30.
Even in the Blue House discussion and debate bulletin, there has been an article posted with the title, "Proposal on the BTS Military Exemption controversy and Revising the Military Service Law." The author of the article stated, "There are many countries overseas that are learning the Korean language thanks to BTS. BTS is worth 5.6 trillion KRW (~4,712,713,600 USD) to the Korean economy, which is a huge national prestige for Korea" and expressed his opinions that "Celebrities, singers, athletes, artists, and professional gamers who are promoting national prestige should be allowed to delay military service until the age of 34 and be allowed to go to the military when they turn 35."
"BTS is enhancing the nation's prestige, they should be exempted from the military."
"I actually served my time in the military but I think BTS has more value than the gold medals from the Olympics."
"I vote for BTS to be exempted from the military."
"To be honest I agree with the exemption because the people who get number 1 in international piano competitions even get exemptions. why can't the boy group influencing the whole world get exempted?"
"I think they should just go to the military since they're only learning money for their company and themselves. The military is mandatory."
"They have international influence, They deserve to be exempted, they are more influential than any diplomat."
"They just got lucky while doing the thing they wanted to do. They're just celebrities so they shouldn't be exempted."