BTS Military Service Exemption Act is in discussion at the National Defense Commission. The committee has initiated a serious discourse about the globally popular ‘cultural artists’ to consider if they can be exempted from the mandatory military enlistment through new amendments to the Military Service Act.
For the unversed, earlier in December 2020, the South Korean parliament introduced a new bill that would allow the popstars to delay their enlistment till the age of 30 thanks to their incredible achievements.
To give more context, generally, all able-bodied South Korean males are required to serve in the country’s military for about 20 months. The required age for military enlistment is usually 18-28.
But, the new bill passed in December would allow cultural artists with a similar impact as BTS to defer their mandatory enlistment up until they’re 30.
Update – According to the latest report, the discussion about BTS Military Service Exemption Act at the National Defense Commission has been postponed. The report suggested that the discussion will now take place in the second half of this year.
What is BTS Military Service Exemption Act
According to the Korean media reports, a subcommittee meeting of the National Defense Commission was scheduled to commence from September 9, 2021, where some new amendments will be considered.
Currently, the military exemption is provided for athletes or other sports personalities who have represented and glorified the country’s name on a global scale.
However, Yoon Sang Hyun, a member of the National Assembly, argued in September last year that the exemption should extend to cultural artists as well.
16 members of the People’s Strength Council including Yoon Sang-hyeon in June proposed amendments to the Military Service Act which were to be discussed at the September 9th meeting.
“There was a football player who was offered an exemption by playing for just four minutes at the 2014 London Olympics. Some estimate that the economic effect of BTS amounts to 5.6 trillion won (US$47 billion) and even larger than a single Olympic Games event,” Hyun shared on social media highlighting the impact of BTS not just culturally, but also economically.
Will BTS be exempted from the military under the new amendment act?
While BTS’ Military exemption is still in question, National Defense Commission was scheduled to have a hearing on the amendments proposed by Yoon Sang Hyun.
Meanwhile, Korea Music Contents Association (MCON) has apparently denied the amendment request suggesting that the impact of pop culture and sports persona can not be equal.
Choi Kwangho, the secretary-general of the MCON Association, countered the claims of the amendment by questioning if winning award show trophies can be compared to winning medals for the country.
He said, “Since the military service benefit system was introduced in 1973, a total of 1804 people have been exempted. I would like you to seriously consider whether the contribution of the 7 BTS members has reached the level of national prestige as compared to the 1804 people who promoted national prestige.”
With the hearing about the BTS military exemption act postponed, BTS ARMY has to wait a little longer to know the results. Keep an eye on this space for all the latest updates of BTS. Share your thoughts with us @HITCculture
Stream BTS x Thee remix 3J performance below.