In June, the band announced via video that it was taking a break of then-unspecified length.
K-pop boy band BTS will go off on mandatory military service, starting shortly with oldest member Jin, their agency said on Monday.
Big Hit, says that BTS plans to come back together as a group "around 2025," after all seven members complete their service. "Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere," Big Hit's statement reads in part. "BIGHIT MUSIC has focused to the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that's now."
K-Pop stars BTS will be forced to serve in the military 😳‼️ pic.twitter.com/RFvriryHwa— RapTV (@Rap) October 17, 2022
Big Hit says that the first BTS member to enter the military will be the group's oldest performer: Kim Seok-jin, who is known as Jin. The 29-year-old plans to enlist as soon as his solo project is rolled out later this month. "Jin will cancel the request to delay enlistment in late October 2022 and follow the Military Manpower Administration's relevant procedures for enlistment," the seven-member band's management group HYBE said in a regulatory filing.
It added that all other members will also serve the mandatory military duty according to their respective plans.
"Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment," HYBE-owned Bighit Music, which manages BTS, said in a separate statement.
BTS will be back as group in 2025 we will wait pic.twitter.com/GZ2vn5Rsok— Shru⁷ (@bangtinyboyys) October 17, 2022
Under South Korea's conscription system, the country requires all able-bodied men to serve at least 18 months in the armed forces by age 28, due to ongoing threats from North Korea. There are exemptions available for certain athletes and performing artists, especially those working in classical and traditional music. Some categories, however, have won exemptions, or served shorter terms, including Olympics and Asian Games medal winners, and classical musicians and dancers who win top prizes at certain competitions. Some lawmakers had called for BTS to be exempted.
In June, the band announced via video that it was taking a break of then-unspecified length. The group's rapper RM, also known as Kim Nam-Joon, said in that video, "After 10 years of living as BTS and working on all our schedules, it's physically impossible for me to mature anymore."