BTS Will Not Be Exempted From Military Service
Karen Jane Ng
The South Korean government has spoken about the impending military service of BTS and said there will be no exemption.
There have been calls to excuse the K-Pop group from the two-year mandatory enlistment given their unquestionable contribution to Korea's cultural, economic and tourism recognition, the same treatment athletes and classical artists get for being global representatives.
However, Culture Minister Park Yang-woo said during a UNESCO forum in Paris, "In the case of BTS, I personally wish I could allow exemptions for them under certain standards, but the Military Manpower Administration and the Ministry of National Defense [in charge of conscription] are inclined to downsize the overall scope [of exemption].
"Unlike classical arts or sports, it is difficult to fix the criteria of the selection in the popular culture and arts fields, which makes it difficult to institutionalize (a waiver system)."
Not ready to let them go but as Kim Seokjin once said, "As a Korean, it's natural. And, someday, when duty calls, we'll be ready to respond and do our best."