K-pop boy band BTS member J-Hope will be enlisting in the military.
Big Hit Music, BTS' agency, announced on Feb. 26 that J-Hope has started the process by applying to cancel his enlistment postponement, an option given to BTS that would allow them to postpone their military service until age 30.
J-Hope is the second member of BTS to enlist after Jin started his military service last December.
“We would like to inform our fans that J-Hope has initiated the military enlistment process by applying for the termination of his enlistment postponement. We will inform you of further updates in due course,” the agency said.
It added, “We ask you for your continued love and support for J-Hope until he completes his military service and safely returns. Our company will spare no effort in providing support for our artist.”
Big Hit Music’s announcement about J-Hope canceling his enlistment postponement refers to a new law promulgated on Dec. 22, 2020 that amended Korea’s Military Service Act, which governs the conscription of Korean men.
The revised law allowed outstanding pop culture artists like BTS to postpone the start of their military service until they reach 30 years old.
Last year, all seven members of BTS applied last year to postpone their military service until age 30. All Korean men are required to enlist by age 28.
Article 60, or the Postponement of Draft Physical Examination and Enlistment in Military, etc., of the Military Service Act states that “the director of a regional military manpower office may postpone the conscription or call-up of a person who has undergone a draft physical examination or a follow-up draft physical examination, who falls under any of paragraph (1) 1 through 3 or falls under any of the following: A student who attends a high school or higher; A person who is taking a prescribed course at a training institute; An outstanding person to enhance the national prestige in the fields of sports and public culture and arts.”
The law took effect on June 23, 2021, or six months after it was promulgated. The law specifies that artists who are qualified for the privilege are those who are recipients of cultural medals and recommended by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST).
BTS members were qualified to postpone their enlistment as they were bestowed the Hwagwan (Flower Crown) Order of Cultural Merit in October 2018 for their contribution to spreading Hallyu, or Korean Wave, around the world.
They applied for the postponement of their military service in 2021 and were recommended by the culture ministry.
This was the same process that Jin underwent after returning to Korea from performing with Coldplay in Argentina.
Like Jin, J-Hope needs to cancel first the postponement privilege granted to him by law in order for the Military Manpower Administration (MMA), which supervises the military service, to send him a notice of his enlistment.
Big Hit Music announced on Oct. 17 last year that all BTS members would fulfill their military service. They will regroup and perform as a complete idol group by 2025.