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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

South Korea considers conducting a survey to find out whether or not BTS should do military service

South Korea may hold a public poll to help determine whether to grant exemptions from compulsory military service to members of K-pop boy band BTS.officials said Wednesday.

The topic of active military service for the seven members of the band has been a hot topic in South Korea because sOur oldest member, Jin, faces enlistment in December, when he turns 30.

Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup told lawmakers that he has ordered officials to implement a survey quickly. He said that his ministry will also look at various other factors, such as the economic impact of BTS, the importance of military service, and the overall national interest.

After his comments created a stir, his ministry clarified in a statement that Lee ordered officials to examine whether such a survey is needed, rather than launch it immediately.

He said officials have been asked to work out the details, including which agency would be responsible for a survey, how long it would take and exactly who would be surveyed. The statement says that if the survey is carried out, it will be conducted by a third-party organization, not the ministry or related authorities, to ensure fairness.

The ministry said the results would be just one of many factors determining the military status of BTS members.

Military service in South Korea

By law, all able-bodied men in South Korea must serve between 18 and 21 months in the military under a conscription system set up to deal with threats from rival North Korea. But the country grants exemptions to athletes, classical and traditional musicians, and ballet dancers and others who take first place in certain competitions because they are considered to have greater national prestige.

Exempts are released from the military after taking three weeks of basic training. But they are required to volunteer 544 hours and serve in their respective career fields for 34 months.

Some politicians and others have called for the scope of exemptions to be expanded to include K-pop stars like BTS. because they have also significantly raised South Korea’s international image.

A private poll earlier this year showed that around 60% of respondents supported military exemption for BTS members. But another private poll in 2020 showed that 46% supported exemptions, while 48% opposed them.

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Reference from www.milenio.com

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