Korea promulgates law to allow BTS to postpone military service until age 30

Published December 22, 2020, 3:14 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

BTS (Twitter)

The Korean government promulgated on Dec. 22 a law that will allow K-pop superstars BTS and other pop culture artists to postpone their military service until age 30.

This came after South Korea’s National Assembly passed a bill on Dec. 1 that grants outstanding pop culture artists, who contributed to improving the country’s national image, to delay their military service upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST).

It was proposed in the National Assembly primarily after BTS topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September with their song “Dynamite.”

The promulgated revised law amended Article 60 of Korea’s Military Service Act and added popular culture artists to the list of people that can be granted postponement of military service. Before the revision, this is granted to “a student who attends a high school or higher;” “a person who is taking a prescribed course at a training institute;” and “an outstanding athlete to enhance the national prestige.”

The revised law promulgated on Dec. 22 will take effect after six months or on June 23, 2021.

BTS members were awarded in October 2018 by the Korean government the Hwagwan (Flower Crown) Order of Cultural Merit in recognition for their contribution to spreading hallyu, or Korean Wave, around the world.

They are eligible for military service postponement if they are recommended by the culture ministry.

Among BTS members, Jin, the oldest at 28, will be able to delay his military service until 2022 while Jungkook, the youngest member at 23, can postpone his enlistment until 2027.

“We will decide a detailed criteria for eligibility to postpone military service to minimize possible abuse of the law,” said Korea’s Ministry of National Defense, according to Yonhap News.