A Korean lawmaker said that one member of K-pop boy band BTS will be enlisting this year, prompting an answer from the idol group’s agency.
On Oct. 21, Rep. Ahn Min-suk of the Democratic Party of Korea, who chairs the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture, Sports and Tourism, said during the 2019 Inspection of State Administration of the department, “I think one of BTS’s members will enlist this year, and it seems that the decision that popular artists won’t receive military service exemption has been enacted.”
Among BTS’ members, Jin is the oldest at 26 based on the computation of age in South Korea.
There are suggestions that BTS should be granted exemption from military service because of their Billboard records and their contribution to making a positive image of South Korea through their music.
South Korea’s current law grants military service exemptions to winners in 29 international music competitions, 12 international dance contests, seven arts contests in Korea, and those who win gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympics and gold medal in the Asian Games.
“Pure artists will enjoy exemption from military service if they are ranked second in international programs.This system was created in the 70s and even then, there was a clear distinction between pure art and popular art However, the wall between pure and popular art has now collapsed, so it’s not appropriate with the nature of this era to grant military service exceptions to pure art but not to popular art,” Rep. Ahn added, according to OSEN and V Live Today.
Ahn’s statement prompted a denial from Big Hit Entertainment.
“Although we have no idea why this rumor surfaced, it is untrue that a BTS member will enlist this year,” the agency stated.