BTS members may no longer be required to serve the military as a new act will progress in the next few months.
On September 9, the National Defense Commission of Korea agreed to discuss the "BTS Military Service Exemption Act." New amendments surrounding the act will reportedly be addressed to determine whether famous cultural artists like BTS could be exempted from serving the military.
This may be possible if the authorities will make changes to the current Military Service Act, which requires all men in the country ages 18 to 28 to undergo the draft. As of the writing, only athletes and sports personalities who represented South Korea globally are part of the military exemption.
A member of the National Assembly, Yoon Sang Hyun, proposed a list of amendments to the Military Service Act in June, and it will be discussed at the subcommittee meeting, as well.
"There was a football player who was offered an exemption by playing for just four minutes at the 2014 London Olympics. Some estimate that the economic effect of BTS amounts to 5.6 trillion won (US$47 billion) and even larger than a single Olympic Games event," he said, detailing that BTS helped South Korea culturally and economically.
With that said, the National Defense Commission will look into whether BTS deserves the military service benefits.
Still, it is worth noting that its members have been expressing their willingness to serve the military since it is a natural obligation.
Their fans, however, shared different opinions about it.
What ARMYs Think About BTS Members' Military Exemption
The news caused mixed reactions from fans, with most of them asking everyone not to comment on the matter if they are non-Koreans.
One fan said, "I'm sooo amazed by all your thoughtful answers for BTS's Military exemption issue, you all are right. It is quite serious issue in S. Korea. Whether or not Korean government exempt them from entering army, we will always respect BTS's decision."
Before the pandemic came, HRI reported that nearly a million foreigners visit South Korea annually because of the K-pop group. With that fact alone, it is safe to say that BTS truly boosted the country's tourism.