Reuters "BTS suspends group activities, reignites controversy over military service obligations in Korea

Amid speculation that one of the reasons for the group BTS (BTS)'s declaration of temporary suspension of group activities is military service, foreign media are also showing interest in the military service issue of K-pop stars.

Reuters reported on the 4th that BTS' surprise declaration of suspension of group activities has reignited the controversy over military service obligations in Korea, which leads the global pop culture trend.

The media explained, "Military duty is a quite controversial topic in Korea, and the outcome of the discussion on alternative service bills currently being discussed at the National Assembly will be of great significance to BTS, especially the eldest brother Jin."

Jin was born in 1992, and his enlistment has been delayed until the end of this year due to the recommendation of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to postpone his enlistment under the revised Military Service Act in 2020.

If there is no special change, Jin must join the military within this year.

Korea's current law includes art and sports personnel who are exempt from the military, including top winners of domestic and foreign art competitions, Olympics, Asian Games, and national intangible cultural properties.

As a result, the National Assembly is discussing the revision of the Military Service Act, which allows popular culture and arts artists such as K-pop stars to be incorporated into art and sports personnel.

Yoon Sang-hyun, a lawmaker of the People's Power who proposed the bill in June last year, told Reuters that "the main reason is fatigue and the need for rest, but the real reason is Jin's military service."

"The fact that BTS has raised Korea's awareness through 'soft power' should be considered in the military service issue," he said. "BTS has done what about 1,000 diplomats have to do."