South Korean pop stars BTS caught the world’s attention when they performed their single “Butter” at the 64th Grammy Awards on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, especially when the group member V whispered something to Grammy winner Olivia Rodrigo as part of the setup. for the performance.
While members of the BTS ARMY (what their rabid, mostly teenage online fans are called) are furious that BTS lost the Grammy for Best Pop Duo or Group Performance to Doja Cat and SZA, the group is probably more focused on a reminder from the Daily Mail that some of its members are considering military enlistment in their home countries.
In 2020, the South Korean National Assembly passed a law allowing members of the group to defer mandatory military service until they turn 30. It probably felt like a sweet reprieve, but time is relentless. Now, member Jin is expected to turn 30 in December, and Suga will follow next March.
Gunn Kim, South Korea’s ambassador to Britain, tried to prepare the band’s fans for the future when he told the Sunday Times: “Young Korean men are expected to serve the country and These BTS members are role models for many younger generations. Koreans. Most of our fellow citizens expect our BTS members to fulfill their obligations as Korean citizens. I believe that will eventually happen.”
Jin and Suga will have to serve for at least 18 months, followed by J-Hope (now 28), RM (27), Jimin (26), V (26) and Jungkook (24). Once this cycle begins, the entire band may not be able to perform together for almost a decade. Perhaps the group’s representatives will be savvy enough to advise that all seven members do their service together and have the obligation taken care of as soon as possible.
Of course, anyone entering the South Korean military must accept the very real possibility of a fight with North Korea, which claims to have tested a new long-range nuclear missile called Hwasong-17. International observers claimed the test was actually the old Hwasong-15 but admit the new missile could be ready soon.
Related: Seoul: North Korea Returned Old ICBM, Not Big New One, Last Week
Whichever way it plays out, BTS will be the pop star’s biggest military service news since Pvt. Elvis Presley answered the call for the US Army in 1958.
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