World South Korean pop stars BTS may get to delay military service after all

17:16  01 december  2020
17:16  01 december  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

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South Korea 's parliament has passed a bill allowing the biggest K- pop stars , such as BTS , to delay their compulsory military service until the age of 30. All able-bodied Korean men aged between 18 and 28 are required to serve in the country's military for about 20 months. But under the revised law

The South Korean band BTS in May at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas.Credit Bridget Bennett/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. The seven members of the K- pop group BTS , the first South Korean musicians to top the Billboard charts, must fulfill their mandatory military service

Seoul — South Korean lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that will likely give major pop stars the ability to postpone their mandatory national military service, reversing course on a previous government ruling that has threatened to deprive the nation of its biggest cultural export: the boyband BTS. It will be welcome news for the seven-member pop group's legions of diehard fans around the world, who were celebrating the band's unprecedented position at the top of the Billboard chart on Tuesday.

Zelo, Rap Monster, J-Hope posing for a photo: 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals © Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

With the country still technically at war with North Korea, the South has laws that amount to what Americans would think of as a military draft. All healthy South Korean men must serve in the military for at least 18 months before turning 28.

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Revised Military Service Act will enable those who represent South Korea internationally to delay enlisting until the age of 30. The issue recently came to a head as BTS member Jin is now 28 and would have had to enlist by the end of the year if the act was not revised.

As it's confirmed the South Korean K- pop stars will complete compulsory military service , we look at what it means for the band. It's been confirmed BTS will have to complete South Korea 's compulsory military service . Despite fans calling for the group to get special treatment, and the country's culture

There are exemptions for people in certain professions, including professional athletes and even musicians from non-pop genres whose contributions are deemed particularly valuable to the country. There are also concessions for certified legal and medical professionals. But as of now, per a decision made about a year ago by the Ministry of Defense, pop stars don't get a pass.

However, the bill passed on Tuesday by an overwhelming majority of South Korea's lawmakers — only 2 of the 270 votes cast were against the legislation — means the kings of "K-pop" may soon be able to defer their national service until the age of 30. President Moon Jae-in is widely expected to sign the bill into law within a couple weeks.

BTS rehearses choreography of © Provided by CBS News BTS rehearses choreography of "Boy With Luv" 03:34

Under the law, deferment waivers would be granted to pop musicians who have won awards and are thus qualified to get an official recommendation from the Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism.

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Proposed legislation means that BTS may be able to postpone their mandatory military service , allowing them to continue with their current line up for BTS have built an army of K- pop fans around the globe. Because of that, they might not have to serve in a real one. Legislation proposed in South

Hit South Korean boy band BTS will not be given exemption from mandatory military service , the defense ministry has said, reaffirming its policy of no exceptions for pop stars . The decision is likely to fuel debate in South Korea , which remains technically at war with North Korea

While an 18-month career interruption may seem insignificant, for South Korea's boybands, the hint is in the name: they're boybands, not manbands. Youthful vitality is part of the image that K-pop has sold with incredible — and increasing — success around the world.

Mandatory military service has doomed some of BTS' recent contemporaries. Super Junior, a 13-member boyband, languished for 10 years while all of its members, of varying ages, completed their national duties. They all finished with their service last year, but the 13 have been reduced to 10 for various reasons, and their previous youthful thunder is gone.

Rap Monster, J-Hope that are talking to each other: BTS perform on © Provided by CBS News BTS perform on

There's no doubt that boybands, by default, have a shelf-life, so packing in as much uninterrupted success before members hit 30 is a logical objective. That's certainly what BTS appear to be doing.

At least one of the bandmembers, 27-year-old Jin, would have to swap his silk suits for army fatigues from this year, if the new law isn't brought into effect.

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Previously, The so-called " BTS Military Service Act," was approved by the National Assembly's National Defense Committee on Novemb… Individuals in the field of pop culture and arts who have greatly contributed to enhancing national status and dignity will be able to delay their military

South Korean boy band BTS won't get a pass on mandatory military service . By Jen Kwon. The ministry said changing the rules for pop stars could have "a huge impact on the promotion of Given those circumstances, every healthy Korean man is obliged to serve in the military before turning 28.

The band's value to South Korea's image, and its economy, is hard to overstate. That wasn't lost on the lawmakers who voted Tuesday, passing legislation they had unofficially dubbed the "BTS bill."

Noh Woong-rae, a lawmaker from the governing Democratic Party, noted last month that the band's first No. 1 hit on the world's biggest music chart, the Billboard Hot 100, back in August brought an estimated 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) into South Korea's economy.

The BTS boys have also done their fellow Koreans proud in less material ways. On Monday, they clocked their third Billboard No. 1, and it was the first song ever to reach that rank with vocals sung mostly in Korean.

Billboard noted that BTS "landed its first three No. 1s more quickly than any act since The Beatles," who delivered their first three chart-toppers over a span of just two months and three days.

Their latest No. 1 was celebrated on Tuesday, along with the legislature's passage of the bill, by another member of the leading Democratic Party, Representative Woong-Rae Roh, who noted in a Facebook post that BTS "also received the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit in 2018… which now makes it possible to postpone their military service."

It's widely expected now that the boys of BTS will be allowed to postpone their service in the army and remain under the command of their fans, who, somewhat ironically, are known as the ARMY.

CBSNews.com's Tucker Reals in London contributed to this story.

Biden's Dilemma: Military or Civilian Control of the Department of Defense? .
No one in the array of voices Newsweek heard from challenged Lloyd Austin's record but worried if President Donald Trump's choice to seek a waiver for James Mattis set a precedent threatening civilian-military separation.A number of front-runners have emerged, including the highest-ranking woman in the history of the Defense Department, who would be the first female chief, and two African Americans, one of whom has the kind of prolific recent military history that lawmakers, veterans and former officials told Newsweek could make the selection problematic.

usr: 0
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