Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, was set to enter a frontline South Korean boot camp Tuesday to start his 18 months of mandatory military service, as fans gathered near the base to say goodbye to their star.
BTS member Jin goes to frontline boot camp for military duty
YEONCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, was set to enter a frontline South Korean boot camp Tuesday to start his 18 months of mandatory military service, as fans gathered near the base to say goodbye to their star.
Six other younger BTS members are to join the military in coming years one after another, meaning that South Korea’s most successful music band must take a hiatus, likely for a few years. Their enlistments have prompted a fierce domestic debate over whether it’s time to revise the country’s conscription system to expand exemptions to include prominent entertainers like BTS, or not to provide such benefits to anyone.
With lawmakers squabbling at Parliament and surveys showing sharply split public opinions over offering exemptions to BTS members, their management agency said in October that all BTS members would perform their compulsory military duties. Big Hit Music said that both the company and the members of BTS “are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment.”
Jin, who turned 30 earlier this month, is to enter the boot camp at Yeoncheon, a town near the tense border with North Korea, for five weeks of basic military training together with other new conscript soldiers. After that training, he would be given a specific role and sent to a certain army unit, a process that all other conscripts go through.