As BTS announced their plan to enlist sequentially starting with Jin (Kim Seok-jin), attention is paid to the members’ future activities.
In a statement released on October 17th, BTS’s agency HYBE said, “Jin will apply for the cancellation of his enlistment postponement at the end of this month and then follow the military service enlistment process”, adding “Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans”. Jin, who recently announced his solo debut, is expected to join the army as early as this year.
In addition, Big Hit Music also posted an additional statement on Weverse and their SNS accounts, saying “Our company and the members hope to resume BTS’s group activities by 2025, but we would like to ask for your understanding that it is difficult for us to specify the exact time at this moment”
BTS members, including Jin (born in 1992), Suga (1993), RM & J-Hope (1994), Jimin & V (1995) and Jungkook (1997), are all eligible for military service. The age gap between the eldest member Jin and the youngest member Jungkook is five years, but their group activity hiatus depends on the timeline of the members’ enlistments.
◆ BTS Jin, meeting fans as a solo artist before enlisting
The newest content of Jin that we can see before his enlistment is the Youtube entertainment show “Nothing Much Prepared” hosted by Lee Young-ji. Jin will appear as a guest in the final episode of “Nothing Much Prepared”, which will be released at 7 p.m on October 20th. It seems like we would not see him expressing his feelings about military service-related issues because the broadcast was filmed before his enlistment announcement. However, expectations are high for Jin’s appearance because this is the place where fans can get a glimpse of his amazing entertainment sense.
Jin will then release a solo song at the end of this month and meet fans as a solo artist before his joining the military. At “BTS ‘Yet To Come’ in BUSAN” concert held at Busan Asiad Main Stadium on October 15th for the promotion of the 2030 Busan World EXPO, Jin suddenly revealed his solo debut plan, saying “I didn’t expect this to happen but I will be releasing an album following J-Hope”.
Jin continued, “It’s actually not a grand album project, but a single. I’m able to release a song thanks to the relationship with a person I really like”, adding “We’ve recently filmed a lot of things, and there are also many contents for you in the future. I hope you enjoy them”. Later, there have been reports that Jin received his new song as a gift from Coldplay, who collaborated with BTS on the song “My Universe” last year, raising fans’ high expectations for Jin’s solo performance.
◆ “So that they can perform together abroad” even after the enlistment
Minister of National Defense Lee Jong-seop adhered to the principle that it is reasonable for BTS to serve in the military whenever he is asked a related question after BTS’s military service exception became a hot topic. He only mentioned that members may be allowed to participate in domestic and international performances at the “national interest level” while serving in the military.
At the National Assembly Defense Committee plenary meeting in August, Minister Lee said, “I think there is a way to give [BTS] a chance to continue performing in the national interest”, adding, “I think there is a way to give them a chance to practice and perform together if there is an overseas performance.” Accordingly, there is a growing curiosity about the scope and method of performances allowed after Jin’s enlistment.
BTS, who has announced a temporary suspension of group activities since their anthology album “Proof” was released in June, has continued with various solo activities. This is planned to continue after Jin joins the army.
j-hope, who became BTS’ first solo runner, released his first solo album “Jack In The Box” in July, and hit the main stage of Lollapalooza, a large-scale music festival held in Chicago, the U.S in the same month. He went on stage as a headliner and also featured in Crush’s new single “Rush Hour” in September.
On the other hand, back in June, Jungkook entered the US Billboard main single chart “Hot 100” with the new song “Left and Right”, where he collaborated with American singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. Meanwhile, RM was featured in the single “SEXY NUKIM”, which was released by hip-hop group Balming Tiger in September.
BTS, who is set to join the military in a sequential order, is expected to fully show off their individual musical abilities through various solo activities in the future.