articleK-Pop

Why does BTS keep delaying their mandatory military service? 

Korean netizens are having questions about BTS’s late military enlistment. 

In the past few years, BTS has helped bring Kpop to the world, with numerous international accomplishments, especially in the West. However, the world-famous idol group is getting into quite the controversy over their mandatory military enlistment, as HYBE continues to be stagnant and keeps waiting for a decision from the government

BTS
BTS’s military service is a controversial topic in Korea.

Recently, HYBE Labels announced a total Quarter I 2022 revenue of 285 billion won (over 225 million USD), with an increase of 78.7% in net profit (equivalent to 30.8 billion won, or over 25 million USD). According to Korean media, this profit mostly came from physical album sales and concerts. 

Regarding the world-famous group, the CEO of Hybe Labels, Park Ji Won, shared: “We have organized many large-scale offline events in the first quarter of this year. It is our fortune to be able to work with BTS, and we will continue to cooperate in the future. Last year, BTS won major prizes at AMA and BBMA, and even received a Grammy nomination. These are our motivations for the future.”

BTS
BTS accounted for most of HYBE’s revenue. 

When asked about BTS’s military service, this CEO added: “At the moment, we haven’t finalized an official schedule and means for enlistment. Please understand that we will make an announcement to fans and investors as soon as a decision is made.”

This is not the first time HYBE dodged questions about BTS’s military service, as previously, the CCO Lee Jin Hyung also answered: “I understand that enlisting is an important matter in Korea, but we have to be careful with what we say to avoid misunderstandings. The BTS members have left the matter of their military service in the hands of the company. They already conveyed multiple times that they will accept the call of duty when the nation calls them, and they have not changed that opinion. However, the policy on military service has changed a little, and as the members are experiencing changes to the Military Service Act, they are currently monitoring the situation while discussing the matter with the company.”

BTS
HYBE constantly dodges questions about BTS’s mandatory service. 

This lack of clear response regarding BTS’s mandatory service has both exhausted and enraged ARMYs (fandom of BTS). To make it worse, the members have expressed that they depend on the company’s decision. 

BTS
BTS members have left the matter of their military service in the hands of the company

Some netizens believe that HYBE is trying to delay the matter to make the most money out BTS, seeing that other artist under the label, including TXT, ENHYPHEN, SEVENTEEN, fromis_9, and LE SSERAFIM haven’t earned as much as anticipated. Some also added that BTS must be the financial pillar of the entire corporation. 

BTS
TXT, ENHYPHEN, and SEVENTEEN have high physical sales but their public recognition aren’t quite there yet. 
bts
Meanwhile, fromis_9 still hasn’t secured a stable standing.
Le Sserafim
LE SSERAFIM is facing strong controversies right after debut. 
gfriend
While GFRIEND and NU’EST have left the label. 

On the other hand, several are convinced that HYBE Labels is just waiting for a military exemption. According to these people, the impact and financial benefits that BTS has brought to Korea may be enough to grant them such honor. 

BTS
HYBE’s board of management is building a strong relationship with the government. 

However, anti fans have a different perspective, claiming that BTS is too afraid of losing their fame should they enlist. They also mocked the group for not enlisting despite Jin being born in 1992, all the while saying that other same-aged idols like WINNER’s Seunghoon, BtoB’s Hyunsik, EXO’s Chen, Baekhyun, and Chanyeol, and other seniors like BIGBANG, Super Junior, and SHINee never became less popular after their years in the military. 

winner
WINNER’s Seunghoon was born in the same year as Jin, but has already finished his service. 
BIGBANG comeback 2022
BIGBANG is topping the digital charts in their newest comeback. 
btob
BtoB still does well after their military service. 

In conclusion, the enlistment of BTS will stay a hot topic among Kpop fans, especially with HYBE Label’s questionable behavior and unclear answers. 

Source
Yan

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