Is the military service exemption for pop culture artists like BTS fair? “Ambiguous criteria” VS “Have to be included fairly”

On May 12th, Ahn Kyu-baek will hold a debate on improving special military service.

Amid heated social discussions over whether to apply military service exemptions for BTS, a debate has been held at the National Assembly on the new direction of this system improvement.

At the “Grand Debate on the Improvement of Military Service Exemption” hosted by Ahn Kyu-baek, a lawmaker of the Democratic Party of Korea, on the afternoon of May 12th, various opinions were exchanged over whether it is legitimate to grant military service exemption to pop culture artists such as BTS at this time.

“Everyone acknowledges that BTS has promoted national prestige,” said Mo Jong-hwa, a former head of the Military Manpower Administration, who participated as a presenter. “However, many people also evaluate that the purpose of popular artists’ activities was not for the country from the beginning, but for pursuing their dreams.”

“There is also a problem that the standard for promoting national prestige becomes ambiguous when it is not based on any international awards,” he said. “For example, if it is based on the Billboard chart rankings, it is ambiguous as no standard indicates how many weeks does one have to be on the chart to meet the standard.”


On the other hand, Lee Nam-kyung, secretary general of the Korea Management Federation, said, “Apart from the purpose of popular culture artists’ activities, they are faithfully achieving the purpose of the military service exemption by promoting national prestige. It is very damaging for the country as a whole to bind pop culture artists at their peak.” He added, “I’m not claiming preferential treatment, but I’m asking for a fair incorporation of pop culture artists into the current alternative service system for the art and sports community.”

Source: Segye

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