Male idols’ military service issue: Why don’t “oppas” go when others go?

Park Ji-won, former head of the National Intelligence Service, recently said on a radio current affairs program, BTS‘ military service issue should be resolved quickly. Of course, military service is a sacred duty and sensitive issue for young people, but it is better to give these excellent talents preferential treatment so that they can contribute more to the country.”


Former director Park’s logic is that the political circle has been steadily raising the issue of BTS’ military service. The goal is to acknowledge their contribution to enhancing national prestige and increasing national brand value through the so-called K-POP so that their activities are not suspended by applying alternative service.

This story began to be publicized in July 2018. 4 years have passed. Considering that the standard military service period is 1 year and 6 months, it seems natural that the public feels tired as 4 years is enough to fulfill military service twice.

BTS miltary service

Then why do male idols postpone military service as much as possible? Wouldn’t it be better to go quickly? In response to this question, industry official A stressed that it is a matter of investment and recovery. A said, “Considering the period during which a male idol team debuts and makes profits until the trainee period, it is impossible for them to enlist at the time when ordinary men go to the military. There is a very strong tendency to enlist after putting the group in a certain position.”

In addition, B, another industry insider, made a new claim that it is “an inevitable choice to maintain the entire group”. “Period of inactivity” is when male artists have to take a long hiatus due to military service. In other words, it is a choice to minimize the impact of “period of inactivity” on the group.

Korean Military

B said, “Although solo activities in the group are increasing these days, fans prefer the team to work as a whole. The positive effect of the full group’s activities is greater than expected. And in the case of a group with many members, it may take about 10 years for all the members to complete military service. It is a problem that cannot be easily said ‘Let’s enlist together’ or ‘If we go quickly, everything will be fine’.”

Some argue that the absence of artists due to military enlistment is a factor in the decline in popularity. There is also a claim that artists’ skills and senses will be lowered due to military enlistment.

minho shinee

Regarding this claim, an executive from a music management company said, “Considering the current military service period, it is not that much. Obviously, the body may be somewhat stiff, but the skills and popularity that have been solidly built up will not be destroyed by military service.”

daesung taeyang

This person expressed skepticism, “When many people look at this issue, they talk about the issue of equity between celebrities and men of their age. However, if you look more closely, there is also an issue of equity between idols. It is ambiguous to set the standard for ‘enhancing national prestige’ where preferential treatment can be given. Even if BTS receives preferential treatment, I wonder if any other male idols can be eligible for this special treatment.”

Source: naver

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