BTS’s fate in military service could be decided this week

Whether members of K-pop sensation BTS will soon be sent to the military could be decided this week.

After their triple victory at the American Music Awards on Monday, when the singers took home the artist of the year award, the boy group’s future depends on the meeting of the National Assembly’s defense subcommittee. Thursday. Changes to the military service law are to be discussed there, and lawmakers may decide to grant exemptions from service to pop artists who have helped raise the country’s global reputation.

Under current law, all able-bodied South Korean men are required to serve in the military for 18 to 22 months. On the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, however, award-winning international athletes and classical musicians are allowed to undergo basic military training and 544 hours of community service over 34 months while remaining professionally active.

Earlier this year, a number of lawmakers proposed bills calling for these exemptions to apply to a wider range of artists. If the law is revised, BTS could be exempted from military service in recognition of its contribution to improving the image of the country. Meanwhile, the defense committee is due to hold a plenary session on Friday.

Ahead of the National Assembly meetings, the Korea Music Content Association released a statement that said, “This month is the last opportunity for BTS to be exempted from military service. He urged the subcommittee of the defense committee to make an “important decision”.

While BTS has made many unprecedented gains in the music industry, the group is being treated unfairly compared to mainstream artists when it comes to issues involving compulsory military service, according to the KMCA statement. The government should put an end to this long-standing discrimination and prejudice against popular artists, he added.

The global community of BTS fans, the military, and other K-pop fans are keeping a close watch on upcoming parliamentary meetings. BTS’s oldest member Jin can only postpone his military enlistment until the end of next year, when he turns 30, under the most recent revision of the law that went into effect Last year.

The group won AMAs in the Favorite Duo or Pop Group category and in the Favorite Pop Song category with their mega-bit “Butter”. They also wrote a new chapter in K-pop history by winning the Artist of the Year award, becoming the first Asian group to do so.

President Moon Jae-in congratulated BTS for winning the highest honor at the awards show in a tweet on Tuesday. “Korean pop culture has taken over the world and added power to national dignity and diplomacy. … BTS’s top prize at AMAs reconfirmed the facts, ”Moon wrote.

Meanwhile, the nominees for the 64th Grammy Awards will be announced on Tuesday (US time), and BTS is widely expected to receive a number of nods.

The awards ceremony is set for January 31 in Los Angeles.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)


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