South Korea Military BTS South Korea

K-pop group BTS members face possible military conscription

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whether they should be given exemptions.Lee Ki Sik, commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration, told lawmakers on Friday that it’s “desirable” for BTS members to fulfill their military duties to ensure fairness in the country’s military service.Earlier this week, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup made almost identical comments about BTS at a parliamentary committee meeting, and Culture Minister Park Bo Gyoon said his ministry would soon finalize its position on the issue.Whether the band’s seven members must serve in the army is one of the hottest issues in South Korea because its oldest member, Jin, faces possible enlistment early next year after turning 30 in December.Under South Korean law, all able-bodied men are required to perform 18-21 months of military service.

But the law provides special exemptions for athletes, classical and traditional musicians, and ballet and other dancers who have won top prizes in certain competitions that enhance national prestige.Without a revision of the law, the government can take steps to grant special exemptions.

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