There has been debate around whether BTS should be enlisting at all, citing the country’s economic recovery. A report showed that in 2019, three BTS concerts in Seoul led to a financial impact of $860 million. According to research from the Hyundai Research Institute, BTS are worth $3.54 billion to the South Korean economy every year.
Two years ago, the government passed an amendment to its Military Service Act that allowed artists who have made a positive impact on South Korea’s reputation to delay their enlistment for two years longer than the average person. This would allow BTS to postpone their enlistment until they are 30. Jin, the oldest member of the band, will be turning 30 this December.
However, the label said it will be withdrawing its request to delay Jin’s conscription. It appears that the rest of the band, including the youngest, Jungkook, will not be delaying their enlistment at all.
Jin will start the process of enlistment after the release of his upcoming single, and the remaining members are expected to do the same after they each release their own solo projects. The band will then reunite in 2025.
In 2020, Jin was asked at a press conference about military service, to which he said, “If there’s a call from my country and the timing is right, I will accept [the duty] at any time.
“It’s something all the members often talk about, and all of us plan to accept military service,” he added.
In “What Do You Think,” Suga rapped, “We’ll go serve in the military when the time comes.”
In 2018, Son Heung-min, a 28-year-old footballer for South Korea’s national team and Tottenham Hotspur, became exempt from enlistment after being on the team that won in the final Asian Games match against Japan.
His exemption meant that the required two-year enlistment became reduced to four weeks, which he started in April 2020 after isolating himself for two weeks. He has since completed it and has returned to playing football in the UK.
The label put fans of the group first by announcing news of their enlistment on Weverse, a social media app for fans. The news was met with a lot of emotion, followed by fans guessing when their enlistment will be over. And, of course, lots of memes.