Discussions on the revision of the so-called “BTS Military Service Act,” which includes military service exemptions for the members of BTS are expected to resume soon.
A meeting of the National Defense Commission’s Legislation Review Subcommittee will be held at 10 a.m. on Nov 25th. At the meeting, some revisions to the Military Service Act proposed in June will likely be discussed by 16 people, including Yoon Sang-hyun, a member of the National Assembly.
Some revisions to the Military Service Act, aimed at including popular cultural artists such as BTS, were scheduled to be discussed at a subcommittee meeting of the National Defense Commission on Nov 9th, but couldn’t happen due to time problems. The meeting has been rescheduled two months later, drawing keen attention to how the conclusion will be regarding BTS’ military service benefits.
Until now, K-pop and other Korean pop cultures have gained worldwide popularity, and it has been a consistent argument that popular cultural artists should also be included in the military service exemption list. However, the National Defense Commission showed a negative position due to their stance of reducing alternative service and fairness and equity in fulfilling military service obligations.
The popular culture and arts community accused this as reverse discrimination. The Korea Music Contents Association recently urged the revision of the Military Service Act, saying, “In the case of fine art, even if you win a contest held by a domestic newspaper, you will receive military service benefits. However, it goes against fairness that popular cultural artists do not receive such military service benefits.”
Meanwhile, BTS is setting various records as a K-pop singer, including becoming the first Korean singer to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their English song “Dynamite” released last year. They recently departed for the United States for their first offline concert there after the pandemic from November 27th (local time).