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South Korea passes ‘BTS law’ allowing accomplished Korean stars to postpone military service

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Dec 02, 2020 2:58 am

Good news, ARMY! Expect to see more of your idols performing as a complete group (yes, all seven!), as the South Korea National Assembly recently approved a law allowing globally accomplished Korean artists to postpone their military enlistment.

The bill, dubbed the BTS Military Service Amendment, was given the green light on Dec. 1. It permits artists to defer their mandatory military service until they turn 30 according to the international age system.

This is on the basis that they have brought in significant achievements to the country's culture and economy recognized by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. According to Soompi, 253 out of the 268 National Assembly members voted for the bill, two voted against it, and 13 abstained.

In the past several decades, all able-bodied South Korean men aged 18 to 28 must serve in the military for two years as part of the country’s efforts to guard against North Korea.

BTS prompted the passage of the new law as its oldest member Kim Seokjin, who turns 28 on Dec. 4, 2020, is scheduled to enter the military soon.

In October, the Military Manpower Administration stated that while they would not exempt artists like BTS from their military service, they were open to the possibility of deferral.

Since their launch in 2013, the K-pop megastars have been a major influencer to the global youth with their music and social campaigns aimed at empowering young people.

They were the first K-pop group to receive the Order of Cultural Merit from the Korean Government in 2018 for further spreading Hallyu (Korean wave) and contributing to the "development of popular culture and arts,” said Blue House spokesperson Kim Ui Gyeom.

"With many of the youth in foreign countries collectively singing lyrics in our language, not only have they spread Hallyu, but they are also contributing to the spread of the Korean language," added Prime Minister Lee Nak Yeon.

Aside from BTS, South Korea will allow high-profile classical musicians and athletes who won Olympic medals or a gold medal at the Asian Games to delay their military enlistment.

Photos from Big Hit Entertainment on Instagram.