- The Washington Times
Monday, October 17, 2022

The lead singer of the K-pop boy band BTS has been ordered to compulsory military duty in South Korea, inviting comparisons to Elvis Presley’s enlistment in the U.S. Army in 1957.

Kim Seok-jin, known professionally as Jin, will soon begin military service and the other members of BTS will eventually follow suit, according to a statement from Big Hit Music, the group’s agency.

The draft notice for Jin, who turns 30 this year, comes amid ongoing discussions within South Korea’s National Assembly about revising the Military Service Act that would have exempted the seven members of BTS from mandatory military service in recognition of their contributions to the country’s culture and entertainment industry, according to The Korea Times.

Jin will apply to cancel the delay of his military service at the end of this month and follow the Military Manpower Administration’s conscription procedure afterward,” The Korea Times reported, citing a statement from Big Hit Music.

South Korea‘s Defense Ministry said in August that BTS might still be able to perform overseas while serving in the military, Reuters reported.

While the BTS draft issue has spawned debates in South Korea over the fairness of allowing exemptions for celebrity entertainers, members of the group have said they would fulfill their duty if called upon to do so.

“Military service is a duty and I’ll comply with it when the state calls me,” Jin said during a February 2020 press conference

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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