South Korea passes bill to allow BTS, other K-pop musicians to defer compulsory military service
Under the revised Military Service Act, BTS will be allowed to defer compulsory military service by two years.
In a major move, the South Korean parliament has passed a bill allowing music sensation BTS and other musicians to postpone their mandatory military service until the age of 30.
As per the South Korean laws, all able-bodied South Korean men, aged between 18 and 28, are required to serve in the military for about two years, reported The New York Times.
Two of the members of the group, Jin and Suga, will soon turn 28 and their time with the group was under threat.
According to the revised Military Service Act, "a pop culture artist who was recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have greatly enhanced the image of Korea both within the nation and throughout the world" would be allowed to postpone their military service until age of 30 if they do not have an extraordinary reason.
Before revision, the Military Service Act only gave deferral exceptions to athletes including Tottenham footballer Son-Heung-min, classical musicians, and those who enrolled in PhD programs abroad.
The law-change was proposed in September, with Democratic Party member Jeon Yong-gi stating that the careers of the K-pop idols, who are the height of success, cannot be compromised.
All seven members of BTS — the full name is Bangtan Sonyeondan (Bulletproof Boy Scouts) or Beyond The Scene as their English branding — meet that requirement as they were awarded the medal in 2018.
The fans of the group, known as the BTS Army, celebrated the legal change on social media, calling it a gift to Jin ahead of his birthday on 4 December.
The septet — comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — recently earned their first mainstream Grammy Award nomination in the best pop/duo group performance for 'Dynamite'.
They were previously up for an obscure best recording package Grammy in 2019 for their third studio album Love Yourself: Tear.
The group also topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 'Life Goes On', the lead single of their recently released album BE (Deluxe Edition). The song, a soothing melody reflecting the state of life under the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, also topped the Billboard 200 chart.
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Life Goes On is closely followed by the Grammy-nominated 'Dynamite', the closing track of 'BE', on No 3 this week.
'Dynamite', which is the music group's first full-fledged English single, previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September, making BTS the first pop act from South Korea to achieve this feat. According to Billboard, BTS is the first duo or group in history to have two No 1 Hot 100 debut songs.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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