It is a well-known fact that South Korean men have to undergo compulsory military service. The National Assembly in South Korea recently passed a bill on allowing recognized pop stars to defer or postpone their enlistment in the mandatory military service until the age of 30.
According to the previous act, Jin (28 years) from BTS would have to enlist by the end of this year. It becomes difficult for pop artists like BTS to manage their career with a 2-year gap which comes with the mandatory military service. But after BTS topped Billboard hot 100 singles with “Dynamite” and became the first-ever South Korean pop artist to do so, there was a proposal in September for the revision of the military services act to grant this exceptional right to the artists who helped raise the country’s image globally.
Before this amendment, deferrals and exemptions were only given to international award winning athletes and classical musicians.
A Korean-American singer Steve Yoo was banned from entering Korea since 2002, based on the Immigration Act. He gave up his South Korean citizenship for US citizenship, reportedly to dodge the mandatory military service. Ever since the news about the new amendment has come out, there has been chaos among the South Korean men.
The news of exemption and difference is hard for them to accept. Mandatory military service is a sensitive topic among the Koreans. Majority of Korean males enlist in their early 20s and they don’t want to go but follow up because it’s their duty. When asked about their thoughts on this news, most of them said that they’ll be sad and frustrated if pop artists received this kind of privilege. There is a big dilemma as to whom to side with as on one hand the artists work so hard throughout their lives and so maybe they deserve this exemption but on the other hand, it is kind of partial against the common men.
It is a very hot and sensitive topic currently and we would like to know what do you think about this big news?