Males in South Korea are required to serve not less than 18 months within the army, until a proper exemption is given.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea could conduct a public survey to assist decide whether or not to grant exemptions to obligatory army service to members of the Ok-pop boyband BTS, officers mentioned Wednesday.
The problem of lively army service for the band’s seven members has been a hot-button subject in South Korea as a result of its oldest member, Jin, faces enlistment in December, when he turns 30.
Protection Minister Lee Jong-sup instructed lawmakers that he ordered officers to implement a survey rapidly. He mentioned his ministry can even look into varied different components comparable to BTS’s financial influence, the significance of army service and general nationwide curiosity.
After his feedback created a stir, his ministry clarified in a press release that Lee ordered officers to look at whether or not such a survey is required, quite than launch it instantly.
It mentioned officers have been requested to review particulars together with which company could be answerable for a survey, how lengthy would it not take and who precisely could be surveyed. The assertion mentioned if the survey is carried out, it is going to be performed by a 3rd group, not by the ministry or associated authorities, to make sure equity.
The ministry mentioned the outcomes could be solely one of many many components figuring out BTS members’ army standing.
By legislation, all able-bodied males in South Korea should serve 18-21 months within the army underneath a conscription system established to take care of threats from rival North Korea. However the nation offers exemption to athletes, classical and conventional musicians, and ballet and different dancers who win high locations in sure competitions as a result of they’re thought-about to have enhanced nationwide status.
These exempted are launched from the army after taking three weeks of fundamental coaching. However they’re required to carry out 544 hours of volunteer work and serve of their respective skilled fields for 34 months.
Some politicians and others have referred to as for increasing the scope of exemptions to incorporate Ok-pop stars comparable to BTS as a result of they’ve elevated South Korea’s worldwide picture considerably as effectively.
A personal survey earlier this yr confirmed about 60% of respondents supported army exemption for BTS members. However one other personal survey in 2020 confirmed 46% backed exemptions whereas 48% opposed them.