A famous personnel of the entertainment industry has argued that BTS enlistment will result in an economic loss.
Kim Chang-hwan, chairman of the Korea Music Contents Association, recently met with Lee Heon-seung, chairman of the National Defense Commission, to convey the opinions of the pop music industry on the military service exemption of popular culture and art personnel.
Chairman Kim said, “Although the inclusion of art and sports personnel is a need for cultural development and national prestige, classical music, Korean traditional music, and dance can be exempt from military service even by winning small domestic and foreign competitions, while no chance was given to pop culture artists” adding, “BTS has become the first Asians to be the most influential artists at a league dominated by white people, and a two-year hiatus in the rapidly changing pop music industry will result in a national and economic loss.”
Chairman Lee said, “As the result of a poll conducted by the National Defense Commission to use the bill for review, more than 60% were in favor of BTS’s military service exemption. They also sympathize with the discrimination of popular music artists,” he said. “We will try to come up with a fair bill that contains clear standards to prove the national prestige of popular culture and art artists.”
Under the current law, art and sports personnel will complete three weeks of basic military training and 544 hours of volunteer work while working in their fields during their military service. To be considered art and sports personnel, the scopes are limited to classical music, dance, and Korean Traditional musicians, while pop culture and arts people are excluded.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop said at the 4th plenary session of the National Assembly on September 20th, “It is difficult to expand the alternative service system in terms of fairness in fulfilling military service.”
Separately, it has been confirmed that the presidential office recently reported measures to improve the military service exemption system including guaranteeing BTS’ activities in any case.