This day had to come eventually.
For years, there’s been speculation about when BTS would begin their mandatory military service. Well, it turns out the time is now. On Oct. 17, BTS’ agency, BigHit Music, announced the K-pop group will go on hiatus until 2025 to allow each member to complete their service. According to The New York Times, under South Korean law, all able-bodied men must enlist in the military by the time they turn 30 and are expected to serve at least 18 months.
The announcement arrived just days after BTS held a stadium concert in Busan, South Korea, on Oct. 15 in support of the city’s bid for the 2030 World Expo. The show marked the group’s first concert together since BTS dropped their anthology album, Proof, on June 10 and first announced their hiatus in a June 14 YouTube video.
For the next few years, members of BTS are expected to focus on solo projects. BigHit also said in their statement that they’ll continue to support the members as they take time to further “explore their unique interests” and fulfill their military duties. Some have already started, including J-Hope. When his record Jack In the Box dropped in July, he became the first BTS member to release a solo album.
Jin will be the first to begin his service as he turns 30 years old in December. “Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October,” BigHit said. “He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government. Other members of the group plan to carry out their military service based on their own individual plans.”
BigHit said BTS will reconvene in 2025 following their service commitment.
According to Soompi, Jin teased his solo music plans at BTS’ World Expo concert earlier this month. “It’s not a huge album or anything, it’s just a single,” Jin reportedly said.
He also appeared to hint the single would be a collaboration. “I was able to work together with someone that I’d always really liked, so I’ll be releasing a new song,” he said, according to Soompi.
Although so much is changing for the group right now, BigHit reassured ARMY that BTS will be back better than ever. They even cited the message of BTS’ song “Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment).”
“[It’s] more than a track from their latest album, it is a promise, there’s much more yet to come in the years ahead from BTS,” the company said in their statement.