Yeoncheon – Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, completed an obligatory 18-month run at a front-line Korean boot camp on Tuesday as fans gathered near the base to say goodbye to the star. began military service.
Six other young BTS members are set to enlist in the military in the coming years, forcing the world’s biggest boy band to go on hiatus. probably for a few yearsTheir enlistment raises questions about whether it’s time to revise the country’s conscription system to expand exemptions to include high-profile entertainers like BTS, or whether it offers such benefits to no one. It sparked a fierce domestic debate.
When Lawmakers arguing in parliament Their governing body said in October that all BTS members would perform compulsory military missions, in a survey that showed public opinion sharply divided over offering exemptions to BTS members.Big Hit Music said that both the company and BTS members “look forward to reuniting as a group around 2025 following their commitment to service.”
Jin, who turned 30 earlier this month, will undergo a five-week basic training course alongside other recruits at a recruit training center in Yeoncheon, a town near the tense border with North Korea, according to the Defense Ministry. received extensive military training. After training, which included rifle shooting, grenade throwing, and marching drills, he and other conscripts were assigned to armed forces around the country.
About 20-30 fans (some with Jin’s photos) and dozens of journalists gathered near the camp. However, Jin didn’t meet them because the vehicle he was in had moved to boot camp without letting him out.
Before Jin entered the camp, Hong Kong’s Mandy Lee said, “Wait for Jin, see him enlist in the army, and wish him the best of luck.”
“Actually, it’s complicated. I want to be sad. I want to be happy for him,” said Angelina from Indonesia. “I have mixed feelings. He must serve his country.” Like many Indonesians, Angelina only uses one name.
Given Jin’s immense popularity, the dozens of fans could be considered a minority of attendees. and informed them that there would be no special events involving singers.
The military said authorities were still deploying 300 police officers, soldiers and paramedics to maintain order and prevent any accidents. With South Korea still reeling from the crisis, strict security measures were expected. devastating halloween crash 158 people died in Seoul in October.
A few hours before entering the camp, Jin, whose real name is Kim Seokjin, wrote on the online fan platform Weverse, “It’s curtain call time.” He wore a military buzzcut on Sunday and said, “Hahaha. It’s cuter than I thought.”
By law, all healthy South Korean men are required to serve in the military for 18 to 21 months under the conscription system established to deal with threats from North Korea. But the law grants special exemptions to athletes, classical and traditional musicians, ballet and other dancers if they have won top prizes in certain competitions and enhanced national prestige. Stars and other entertainers are not entitled to such privileges, even if they achieve global fame and international awards.
“The BTS member chose to go to the military, but he still has some regrets,” said popular culture critic Jung Duk-hyun. “People in the popular culture sector experience little disadvantage or injustice compared to the pure arts sector or athletes. Should we discuss it?”
In South Korea, exemption or evasion of obligations is a very sensitive issue, and the draft forces young men to suspend their studies or professional careers. Defense Minister Lee Jong-seop and South Korea’s enlistment office chief Lee Ki-sik previously said it was “preferable” for BTS members to serve in the military to ensure fairness in military service.
Retired lieutenant general Jeong In-beom, who commanded South Korea’s special forces, said the army’s shrinking recruit pool was a “very serious” problem and the government needed to withdraw any exemptions. . While the country’s birth rate is decliningHe called the controversy over BTS’ military service “unnecessary” because it was not raised by a BTS member who had expressed a willingness to do his duty.
BTS was created in 2013 and has many supporters around the world who call themselves ‘Army’. The other members are RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and he is the youngest Jungkook at 25. The group expanded their popularity in the West with their 2020 mega-hit “Dynamite.” BTS is the first K-pop artist to top Billboard’s Hot 100. The band has performed in sold-out arenas around the world and has even been invited to speak at a United Nations conference.
Big Hit’s parent company, Hybe Corp., announced in October that each member of the band would focus on their individual activities scheduled to coincide with military service plans for the time being. Released “The Astronaut”.
Commentator Jeong said the sold project could give the BTS members the time they needed to develop themselves after working together for so many years as a group. Cha Woo-jin said it was unclear if BTS would enjoy the same popularity as a group when they reunited after completing their military duties in a few years.
In August, Defense Minister Lee said it was likely that BTS members would continue their military service and be allowed to join other BTS members on overseas group tours.
Cha said that K-pop’s global influence “seems to represent K-pop, but it’s not all about K-pop,” so it won’t be hit hard by the enlistment of BTS members. I said no.Jeong agreed, saying he likes other K-pop groups black pinkStray Kids and aespa could rise further.
Kim reports from Seoul, South Korea.
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https://www.local10.com/entertainment/2022/12/13/bts-member-jin-goes-to-frontline-boot-camp-for-military-duty/ BTS Member Jin Begins Military Service At Frontline Boot Camp