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The members of the globally successful K-Pop band BTS should possibly also be able to rehearse together and perform abroad during their military service. Defense Minister Lee Jong Sup promised a corresponding exemption for compulsory military service in South Korea. It could be in the national interest to allow the superstars to perform while they were in the army, he said.
»Many people see army service anyway as very valuable,” said the minister in Parliament when asked about it. It could be “even more valuable” to its popularity if BTS continued to perform during this time.
In South Korea, every healthy man has to go to his 30. years of age to a two-year military service. Those who evade it face a prison sentence. An exemption is only provided for top athletes such as Olympic medalists and classical musicians. Pop stars do not fall into this category.
South Korea’s most successful music export
The seven members of BTS are now between 24 and 29 years old, so the eldest of them – Jin – should be drafted soon. However, the group had only announced in June that they were taking a hiatus and that the individual members would temporarily focus on solo projects.
The boy band, known for their meticulously rehearsed dance choreographies, is South Korea’s most successful music export. The band mainly sings in their mother tongue, but has millions of fans around the world.