The K-pop sensation BTS is undoubtably riding high on their success. From sold out Stadium tours across the U.S. to a number one hit song in the UK as well as making their Saturday Night Live debut, the boys are on fire globally. However, in the near future things will change.
It is no secret that military service for men in South Korea is mandatory and considered a rite of passage into manhood. Just like other big K-pop groups, Big Bang, the BTS boys are slated to start their military service as soon as next year. The group’s eldest member, Jin, is expected to start serving next year. However, there has been much speculation if the boys and their management company, big HIT Entertainment, would seek a waiver. Some politicians in Korea have lobbied for the boys be deemed a national treasure and thus be granted a waiver for their military service. Other stars, including South Korea’s famed soccer player, Son Heung-min, have had to contend with the idea of seeking a waiver or enlisting in the country’s military for 21 months during the prime of their careers, as per the country’s Constitution that requires all able-bodied men of a certain age to serve.
So the big question will the boys of BTS serve or seek waiver? They were asked this very question on CBS’s Sunday Morning when the boys sat down with Seth Doane for a behind-the-scenes look of there new album, Map Of The Soul: Persona. Doane asked, “military service is mandatory in South Korea, there’s only so long you can delay it, will you serve?” It was Jin who quickly spoke up. He basically said when the time comes he’ll be ready. Jin quickly spoke up in Korean saying, “as a Korean it is natural…and someday when duty calls, we will be ready to respond and do our best.” Doane followed up by saying, “do you worry about breaking off separating– going different ways?”
The youngest member Jungkook actually said, “I don’t want to think about it at this point…we have something really good going.”
Leader RM said, “that’s the answer– we just enjoy the ride, live in the moment and that’s all we can do.”
Sadly for the BTS Army this means we will only have one more year of the super seven as a whole for a while. None of the BTS members stated their plans for how as a group they will handle the absent of Jin or their subsequent military service.