BTS Member Jin Begins Military Service At Frontline In South Korea
Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, began his 18 months of mandatory military service at a front-line South Korean boot camp Tuesday as fans gathered near the base to say goodbye to their star.
James K.Dec 13, 20226 Shares398 Views
BTS member Jin begins military serviceand he was supposed to start his mandatory military service on Tuesday at a base near the border with North Korea. This came as rumors about the band's future continued to grow.
The 30-year-old, who now has a buzzcut, will be followed into the military by younger members of the band in the coming years. Their impending enlistment caused a debate in South Korea about whether the band and other successful entertainers should be given exemptions.
Jin will spend five weeks at an army boot camp in Yeoncheon, which is close to the heavily defended border with North Korea, before being sent to a unit to finish his 18-month assignment.
BTS member Jin begins military duty at front-line boot camp
Jin, the oldest member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, is the first member of the group to join the military. Before he joined the army on Tuesday, the 30-year-old posted a picture of himself with a new military haircut. "It looks cuter than I expected," he said.
Since South Korea is still technically at war with its hostile neighbor North Korea, all men who are able to serve are required to do so. Jin has started training for five weeks at a boot camp near the border with North Korea.
Jin has signed up for the Yeoncheon boot camp, where recruits sleep on mats on the floor in rooms with up to 30 other people. Before being put through difficult wartime scenarios, they are taught how to use weapons and fire real bullets.
After surprising fans by saying they were taking a break from playing, the band's seven members said in October that they would do their military duty.
All able-bodied South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 30 are required to serve in the military for at least a year and a half. This is to keep the country ready for a possible war with the nuclear-armed North.
Many people think that BTS is South Korea's biggest cultural phenomenon because they sell out stadiums all over the world, rule the charts, make millions of dollars, and have a legion of fans around the world who call themselves "the Army."
Because of their fame and ability to make a lot of money (they have brought billions of dollars to the South Korean economy), there has been a debate about whether stars in the entertainment industry should be allowed to skip military service or do other jobs instead.
Athletes, classical and traditional musicians, ballet dancers, and other dancers who have won top prizes in certain competitions and raised the prestige of the country are exempt from the law. The exemption doesn't apply to K-pop stars or other entertainers, even ones like BTS who have been successful all over the world. Jung Duk-Hyun, a pop culture commentator, said:
Though BTS members have opted to go to the military, there are still some sort of regrets. in the pop culture sector experience little bit of disadvantages and unfairness, compared with those in the pure art sector or athletes. This will probably continue to be an issue of controversy so I wonder if it must be discussed continuously.- Jung Duk-Hyun
Big Hit Music, the band's record label, told fans to stay away from the base, where families of new recruits go to say goodbye. Last week, the label said, “We ask you to keep your heartwarming words of support and farewell in your hearts,” the label said last week.
About 20–30 fans were waiting outside the camp, which was about 45 km from the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. This was a small number, which suggests that many people had listened to calls to stay away.
Police officers blocked off streets to keep people from getting hurt, and an ambulance was sent to the scene. The strict safety rules come just a few weeks after 158 people died in a Halloween crowd crush in Seoul.
Fans of BTS were shocked in June when the group announced it was taking a break. They said they were tired and under a lot of pressure, and they also wanted to focus on their solo careers. Analysts said, though, that the timing of the announcement took into account military duty.
When the group's six other members, RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, who is the youngest at 25, have finished their service, they will get back together around 2025.
This year, BTS has gone through some big changes that have made fans and people who follow K-pop wonder what the group's future holds.
Some male K-pop stars have had trouble getting their careers back on track after serving in the military. This is because the music industry is very competitive and artists are easy to replace. Lee Taek-Gwang, a professor of cultural studies at Kyung Hee University (KHU) said:
For the K-pop industry, the retreat of BTS will be a big deal. During the absence, they could lose public interest, and the decline in popularity will damage their business. It would not be easy for the boyband to reunite.- Lee Taek-Gwang
But other experts have said that BTS could be an exception to that rule because of how popular they are.
Since their first show in 2013, many people have said that BTS has done more than any diplomat or celebrity to improve South Korea's image and soft power.
With their first all-English song, "Dynamite," BTS became the first K-pop group to top Billboard's Hot 100. This helped the group become more popular in the west.
The band has played in full arenas all over the world and has been asked to speak at the United Nations and meet Vice President Joe Biden at the White House.