Mandatory military service in the world of k-pop

South Korea is a country that takes compulsory military service very seriously. There you don't have the option of dismissal like you have in Brazil and other countries. A person who does not obey the law loses his freedom by staying in a penitentiary. And this time is also very sad for fans as there are no exceptions for k-pop groups or other artists who reach the age of 30 years.

Military service starts from the age of 20, but becomes mandatory from the age of 30. The service lasts up to 3 years and is a harrowing time for fans, as many are at the peak of their career and have to take a break to comply. with the law of the country.

In this article we will understand more about this subject, which artists have already served in the army, what measures the government is taking to resolve this and if this law means the end of the career of the k-pop band of the moment: BTS.

How does compulsory military service work and how long does it last?

Military service in South Korea extends to both men and women upon reaching the age of majority, but is mandatory for males only. The enlistment law has been in existence since 1957. And the service is not just for those born in the South Korean country, but also for those who have dual nationality and opted for Korean. It also has relationships with people who have resided in South Korea for a long time.

South Korea's military mandate is among the 4 strictest in the world, trailing only North Korea, Israel and Singapore. So the man has 18 to 28 years of age to enlist, if he doesn't, he can be arrested. And the way in which inmates are treated there is not very attractive either! A person can go for decades without his freedom.

The situation is so serious that even if the person has some health or physical problem they should enlist, but they do a kind of non-active service as if it were a voluntary service aimed at society. In this case, the person spends two years in this type of service.

There are some exceptions in the case of enlistment aimed at Koreans who have diabetes, as it is a disease that leaves the person weak, with food restriction and if he is injured, the healing takes a long time and can aggravate the problem, in which case the person can ask for waiver. Another exception is for Olympic athletes who win a gold medal, as it is considered a form of service to the country.

The recruitment time will also depend on the type of service chosen. The People Online showed the duration for each of the military services:

Non-active service (social work) – 2 years

Non-active service (industrial technician) - 2 years and 10 months

Non-active service (doctors, lawyers, veterinarians and researchers) – 3 years

Navy – 1 year and 9 months

Army – 1 year and 9 months

Naval Army - 1 year and 11 months

Air Force - 2 years

Korean Artists Soon to Serve in the Army

The fans' hearts ache during this period, although for many it doesn't seem like a big deal, but the absence of mandatory military service for certain members of a group can cause the band to lose its strength over time.

Oh and it's important to note that in South Korea a person's age is counted in a different way. When the person is born, he is 1 year old, as the gestation time is taken into account, and then the age counts normally. So they take into account the age there. Some k-pop singers are already steps away from enlisting. Let's see what they are.

1 - Jin (BTS)

Jin or Kim Seok-jin (김석진) born on December 4, 1992, he is the oldest of the group. So taking into account the age in Korean in December he turns 30, which is the limit the government has set for artists at the height of success to enlist. Jin is a tenor and plays guitar. He's been in the band since the beginning in 2013.

2 – Wonho (Monsta X)

Wonho or Lee Ho-seok (이호석) is already 29 years old (Korean age) and is a former member of the band Monsta X from Starship Entertainment, he joined the band in May 2015. He stayed in the group until the launch of his career solo in April 2020. He stands out for having a very beautiful face, that's why he has also dedicated himself to a career as a model since 2018 for major brands.

3 - Jay B (GOT 7)

Jay B or Lim Jae-beom (임재범) turns 29 Korean in January 2022. His career started in 2012, but he became known for joining the group Got 7 formed in 2014. Jay B is also an actor, having appeared in 3 dramas and several variety shows.

4 – Vernon (Seventeen)

Hansol Vernon Chwe (한솔 버논 최) is 24 years old from Korea. He is a rapper, singer, songwriter and dancer for the group Seventeen. Vernon was born in NY, United States, but at the age of 5 he moved to South Korea, so he has dual nationality and when the person chooses the South Korean nationality, he must enlist, but otherwise the person is treated as an immigrant.

5 - Mino (Winner)

Mino is the stage name of Song Min-ho (송민호), the 29-year-old rapper, singer and songwriter is a member of the Winner group since 2015. His career began in 2011 and he is still active today. The artist won the Discovery of the Year award in 2016.

6 – Sucks (BTS)

Suga his name is Min Yoon-gi (민윤기) turns 29 in March 2022. He has been in BTS since his debut in 2013, where he became better known, but 3 years earlier he was already part of a rap group.

7 - Xiumin (EXO)

Xiumin whose name is Kim Min-seok (김민석) he is 32 years old Korean and is already serving in the army. He started his career in 2012 when he joined the band EXO and stayed until 2019 when he had to leave for military service.

the BTS law

The group BTS is one of the most influential bands in South Korea. This group has contributed a lot to the hallyu phenomenon and it's just growing and conquering more people around the world and taking its cultural aspects. As most of the members are almost the same age, for sure with the time of enlisting approaching, people could not fail to express themselves in some way.

Despite several attempts to come to an agreement, the BTS group has still not been able to get exemption from compulsory military service, the only progress has actually been that the established deadline has increased. They would have until the age of 30 (Korean) to enlist instead of 28. This measure has ended up being extended to every South Korean artist. THE Korea Music Contents Association (MCON), an association dedicated to the development of the K-pop industry, so far has not agreed with the artists' exemption, but it is already an issue to be evaluated.

What do you think of this law? Will they soon get a waiver or some sort of alternative service?

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