Enlistment postponement is 3 months away… BTS’ military service is up to public opinion survey

It is expected that the Ministry of National Defense will decide BTS’ military service through a public opinion survey.

When asked by Commissioner Sul Hoon of the Democratic Party of Korea at a plenary session of the National Assembly Defense Committee on August 31st, Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-sup replied, “I instructed my staff this morning to expedite the public opinion survey. I set a deadline for them.”

Regarding BTS‘ military service, Minister Lee shared, “We will make a decision as soon as possible by considering national interests at various levels and synthesizing commissioners’ opinions.”

Minister Lee and Head of Military Manpower Administration Lee Ki-sik have been cautious about BTS’ military service. On August 1st, Minister Lee said, “We should discuss ways to solve this issue without infringing principles of fairness and equity and the reduction of military service resources. Even if they join the military, there would be a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together if there are scheduled concerts abroad. As many people highly value artists serving in the military, that may help boost their popularity even more.”

Born in 1992, BTS’s eldest member Jin was supposed to enlist last year, however, his enlistment has been postponed until the end of this year at the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism under the Revision of Military Service Act in 2020.

It is also said that the closer the enlistment schedule approaches, the more difficult it will be for anyone to receive military service exemption benefits.

However, the National Assembly announced, “We will quickly make a conclusion based on the result of a public opinion survey”, showing a different atmosphere.

Discussions over a revision of the Military Service Act surrounding BTS’s military service exemption issue have been continuing for years. A revision of the Military Service Act for applying the military service exemption system to popular culture artists has been proposed but is still pending in the National Assembly.

In this regard, in May, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hwang Hee said, “Please take into consideration the time for our country to completely become a cultural powerhouse”, suggesting applying military service exemption to BTS. In August, Busan Mayor Park Hyung-joon also proposed to the President that BTS should be given the opportunity to do alternative military service.

Politicians have mentioned BTS’s military service exemption issue many times. Some people doubted that BTS was trying to take advantage of the military issue politically, and even raised public antipathy by pointing out that the boy group was aiming at special treatment for military service.

In addition, the fact that discussions on this issue had lasted for three years then a sudden public opinion survey was decided only 3 months ahead of the deadline for BTS’s enlistment sparked another heated debate. 

Source: daum

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