K-Pop legends may not get an exemption from Mandatory Military Service, says the country’s Defense Minister.
“BTS will not be exempted from compulsory military service at home in South Korea, but the #ARMY is asking officials to let them serve together,” Billboard Tweeted.
The latest proposal structured to allow BTS’ members to skip South Korea’s Mandatory Military Service seems unlikely to work. As per the Korean Times, a revised proposal has been put forward by the lawmaker of the opposition Democratic Party according to which only ‘decorated’ pop stars can swap their Mandatory Military Service for an alternate service.
The bill that required all able-bodied men aged 18 to 20 to serve in Military services was proposed by Representative Kim Young-bae. The same order was also given to BTS back in 2018, to which they asked for an exemption.
Kim Young-bae, who proposed the bill, said, “Korean pop celebrities active in the international field make unimaginable economic and social contributions. I believe pop celebrities will make important contributions to the national interest, including promoting a bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan, through doing alternative military service.”
If passed, the revised proposal will allow BTS stars to exchange their mandatory service with alternate services aimed at promoting national interest like the current Busan City ambassadorship.
In July, BTS was announced as the PR ambassador for World Expo. An existing provision enables the noted athletes and celebrities who have made a substantial international impact to opt for alternate ways to complete their Military obligatory service.
However, unfortunately, it would be ‘difficult’ to offer such exemption to BTS due to “aspects of fairness on fulfilling mandatory military service” , said the country’s Defense Minister in a statement. The Minister’s statement on the matter came following a poll asking if Korean pop culture artists who successfully have “elevated the nation’s reputation should be allowed alternate programs’, resulted positive with 60.9 percent of people saying they should.