It's a good day for K-Pop fans everywhere. Most male idols are forced to put their music careers on hold temporarily to enlist in the Korean military for about 20 months by the age of 28, as required by Korean military law. Seeing as BTS' Jin and Suga are both on the brink of turning 28 years old, fans have been wondering what the future will hold for the band as their mandatory enlistments approach. Now, they have their answer, and it seems Jin and Suga won't have to report for duty just yet. BTS can postpone enlisting in the Korean military thanks to a new law.
Jin is the the oldest member of BTS, and is set to celebrate his 28th birthday on Dec. 4, which meant he would have had to enlist in the military at some point in 2021. For the record, Jin has stated he was more than willing to enlist whenever he was called for duty. "As a Korean, it’s natural. And some day, when duty calls, we’ll be ready to respond and do our best," he said during a news conference in February, per Reuters.
Now, the New York Times reports that just three days before Jin's birthday, South Korea’s Parliament passed a revision many are calling the "BTS Law," which allows certain Korean entertainers to postpone enlistment.
Under the new law, K-pop stars can postpone their military service until the age of 30, given that they are recognized by the government as a figure who is elevating the national reputation around the world. Since all seven members of BTS were awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 2018, they are all eligible to apply for deferment of their military service.
In October, Big Hit shared a statement for their initial public offering (IPO) ahead of their debut on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) in which they speculated Jin would be able to postpone his enlistment, so it's likely Jin and the other members of BTS will take advantage of this new law. If they do, it marks marks the first time a military exception will be made for a K-Pop band member, but under longstanding military law, similar exceptions have previously been made for top athletes and accomplished classical musicians and ballet dancers.
ARMYS were over the moon after hearing about the new "BTS Law."
"Why did NO ONE tell me Korea passed the 'BTSLaw' yasss to two more years with Jin," one fan tweeted.
"BTS really had a law passed for them omg," another fan wrote.
While ARMYs are celebrating, this is great news for everyone. Although it's unclear which, if any, other idols will be eligible for deferment under this provision in the future (no other K-Pop groups have been awarded an Order of Cultural Merit as of yet), the law is not just for BTS and can apply to other entertainers.