JAKARTA: After uncertainty over the prospect of compulsory military service for the world’s biggest K-pop group, BTS fans were filled with pride and optimism as they contemplated what the next few years would bring to each member of the group.
All South Korean men must enlist before the age of 28 and must serve for at least 18 months.
BTS’s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, known as Jin, was originally supposed to be conscripted by December 2020, but the South Korean government created a new exception just three days before BTS’s 28th birthday. ‘artist.
The so-called BTS law allows K-pop stars, who contribute significantly to the country’s economy and have received the Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit, to defer their service until they turn 30 .
Jin is expected to enlist before he turns 30 on December 4, and in late October released his solo single “The Astronaut”, co-written by British rock band Coldplay, in a farewell to fans.
Other band members, who are also in their late twenties, are expected to follow in his footsteps soon.
Their label, Big Hit Music, announced that the septet would reunite “as a group around 2025” after completing their military service. Until then, some of its members will pursue solo projects.
Millions of discouraged BTS fans, known as ARMY, have expressed their grief on social media, but many also believe this will be a chance for the group to grow as artists.
“When I learned that BTS will be going to do their military service, I felt a little relief,” Alice Kim, a 28-year-old ARMY member from South Korea’s Gyeonggi-do province, told Arab News.
“It’s sad that we probably won’t have a new BTS album in the next few years. However, it’s exciting to see them continue their solo careers. We’re ready to enjoy their works as solo artists.
Also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, the K-pop group debuted in 2013 and are now one of the highest-grossing artist groups in the music industry.
They have gained global fame and influence over the past decade with their upbeat hits and social campaigns aimed at empowering the younger generation.
“In my opinion, BTS will grow and develop as an artist over the next few years,” Kim said. “I will keep an eye on them and watch with pleasure how they become great artists.”
Aparmita Das, a 27-year-old ARMY from Meghalaya, northeast India, said the news of the boys’ enlistment had “filled all ARMYs with a deep sense of pride. “.
“We are all heartbroken, but at the same time, we are proud, hopeful and excited about each member’s solo projects. 2025 is not far,” Das told Arab News.
“BTS is one, but it’s also seven distinct individuals, each with their own personality, and each must discover their particular skills, interests, and dislikes.”
Others, like Jakarta-based ARMY member Agnes Anya, will spend the time the superstars are doing their military service saving money to watch them live as soon as they get together.
“Right now, me and my ARMY friends are saving together,” she said.
“Our goal is to pressure each other to save enough money to watch BTS together in Korea in 2025.”