South Korean group BTS’ accomplishments have touched off debate in the country about exemptions and deferral for mandatory military service. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Exceptions could be made for South Korean boy band BTS so members could postpone military service, Seoul's defense ministry has suggested.
Defense Minister Suh Wook told local lawmakers on Wednesday exemptions are not under consideration, but a postponement is not being ruled out, Yonhap and XSportsNews reported.
Jin, the oldest member of the world-famous K-pop group, is required by law to enlist with the South Korean army by the end of the year. South Korean politicians have proposed Jin, who was born in 1992, be exempt as the band reaches new milestones. In September, the group's single "Dynamite" made a historic No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
South Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Park Yang-woo said Wednesday at the same hearing a review of postponement for artists like BTS "is necessary." In 2018, South Korea granted a rare exemption for Son Heung-min, the Tottenham soccer star.
According to law, South Korean men between ages 18 and 28 must join the armed services as conscripts. Draft evasion is considered a crime. Exceptions under current law include Olympic medalists, Asian Games gold medalists and artists who place at least second place in international contests, according to local press reports.
The success of BTS' RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook have delivered profits for Big Hit Entertainment, the label that manages the band, and other groups, including Tomorrow X Together, a boy band also known as TXT.
The company was able to collect more than $50 billion in deposits for its initial public offering on Tuesday, according to local press reports.
The deposits collected approached the amount investors poured into Kakao Games during its IPO, according to KBS on Wednesday. A larger deposit increases the chance of retail investors receiving a share of the company. Shares have been oversubscribed, reports say.