BTS: South Korean defence minister says military exemption for group could be ‘difficult’

South Korean Minister for War says that it would be “difficult” to extend an alternate form of military service to BTS due to “aspects of fairness”.

Last month, Busan’s mayor asked South Korea’s president to exclude BTS from mandatory military service so they can help support the city’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030.

Park Heong-joon told president Yoon Suk-yeol that “without solving the military service issue, BTS actively promoting Busan’s bid for the Expo might be impossible”.

He told the president that the global event is a “dire necessity” for Busan.

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Busan’s mayor said he was asking for an alternative “national responsibility as heavy as the mandatory military service” for the famous K-Pop band.

However, during a conference at the National Assembly held on Monday (19 September), South Korean Minister for War Suh Wook said that it would be “difficult” to extend this alternative programme to BTS due to “aspects of fairness on fulfilling mandatory military service”.

Under South Korea’s military service law, “all able-bodied men of Korean nationality must carry out active-duty service in the military for 18 to 22 months”.

In November 2020, BTS members said they believed that “military duty is a righteous obligation for all Korean men” and confirmed that all members would comply if they were requested to carry out active-duty service.

BTS released their new music album Proof earlier this year where they collaborated with American singer Halsey on the track “Boy With Luv.”


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