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BTS member Jin begins military duty at front-line boot camp

BTS member Jin begins military duty at front-line boot camp

South Korean city of Yeoncheon (AP) The oldest member of the K-pop supergroup BTS, Jin, started his 18-month military duty on Tuesday at a front-line boot camp in South Korea as fans gathered outside to bid their idol farewell.

The world’s biggest boy band will have to take a break, probably for a few years, since six more younger BTS members will be enlisting in the military one after another in the upcoming years. Their enlistments have sparked a heated local discussion about whether it’s time to change the nation’s conscription system to widen exemptions to include well-known performers like BTS, or whether it’s better to withhold such privileges from anyone.

The administration agency of the BTS announced in October that all members would carry out their mandatory military service despite disagreements among MPs at Parliament and studies revealing drastically divergent public sentiments about granting exemptions to BTS members. According to Big Hit Music, BTS and the company both “look forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their military commitment.”

The Defense Ministry reported that Jin, who turned 30 earlier this month, joined other new conscript soldiers in reporting to the boot camp at Yeoncheon, a town close to the volatile border with North Korea, for five weeks of basic military training. He and other conscripts would be deployed to army units around the nation following the training that included rifle shooting, grenade throwing, and marching drills.

Near the camp, scores of journalists and about 20 to 30 supporters, some holding Jin’s photographs, gathered. However, Jin did not exit the vehicle when it entered the camp with it. Later, images of Jin with other members—likely at the camp—were shared by the BTS official Twitter account along with the remark, “Our bro! Enjoy a secure service! Dear you,

Members could be seen hugging Jin’s head in one picture while grinning.

Before Jin arrived at the camp, Mandy Lee from Hong Kong wished him luck and stated, “I want to wait (for) Jin and see him go into the military.”

“In actuality, it’s complex. The desire to feel depressed. Angelina from Indonesia remarked, “I want to be happy for him. “Variable emotions. He must defend his nation by serving. Angelina solely goes by one name, like many Indonesians.

Given Jin’s enormous fame, a few dozen admirers may be considered a modest attendance. However, in order to avoid any problems brought on by crowding, Jin and his management company had already requested fans not to visit the venue and informed them there would be no special event involving the singer.

To keep the peace and prevent any mishaps, authorities nonetheless deployed 300 police officers, soldiers, and other personnel. As South Korea is still recovering from the tragic Halloween crush in Seoul in October that left 158 people dead, strict safety measures were anticipated.

It’s time for a curtain call, Jin, whose real name is Kim Seok-jin, posted on the Weverse online fan platform earlier on Tuesday. He published a picture of himself online on Sunday with a military buzz cut and the caption, “Ha ha ha. I didn’t expect it to be this cute.

Under a conscription system put in place to address North Korean threats, all physically capable men in South Korea are required by law to serve in the military for 18 to 21 months. However, the law grants specific exemptions to athletes, classical and traditional musicians, and ballet and other dancers if they have taken home top honors in prestigious national events. Even if they achieve global recognition and win important international prizes, K-pop stars and other entertainers are not accorded such privileges.

Due to a legislation that prevents most males from deferring their military service after the age of 30, Jin was about to enlist.

Compared to athletes or pure artists, those who work in the pop culture industry do suffer from certain slight disadvantages and unfairness “A commentator on popular culture named Jung Duk-hyun said. “I wonder if it needs to be debated constantly because this is probably going to be a contentious issue going forward.

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In South Korea, where the draft forces young men to put their academic or professional pursuits on hold, exemptions or evading duties are a very touchy subject. In order to maintain fairness in the nation’s military duty, Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup has previously stated that it would be “ideal” for BTS members to carry out their military obligations.

The military’s diminishing recruitment pool is “a very severe” issue given the nation’s declining reproduction rate, according to Chun In-bum, a retired lieutenant general who oversaw South Korea’s special forces. He said the government must take action to rescind any exemptions.

BTS was founded in 2013 and has a large, worldwide following known as the “Army.” Other members of the group are RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, the youngest at 25. The band’s first all-English single, “Dynamite,” which made BTS the first K-pop act to top Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2020, helped the group increase its appeal in the West. The group was even invited to speak at United Nations gatherings after playing to packed houses in arenas all around the world.

Big Hit Music’s parent business, Hybe Corp., announced in October that each band member would initially concentrate on personal projects timed to fit around their upcoming military commitments. Jin released “The Astronaut,” a song that Coldplay co-wrote with Jin, in October.

The commentator, Jung, suggested that after working as a group for many years, solo ventures could allow BTS members the much-needed chance to mature individually. When BTS reforms after completing their military obligations in a few years, Cha Woo-jin, a K-pop expert, questions whether the group will continue to enjoy the same level of popularity.

Defense Minister Lee predicted in August that BTS members who are in the military would likely be permitted to continue their training and go abroad with other BTS members who are not in the military.

Because BTS members “appear to represent K-pop but aren’t everything of K-pop,” according to Cha, the influence of K-pop on the world stage won’t be significantly diminished. Jung concurred, predicting that other K-pop acts like BLACKPINK, Stray Kids, and aespa might achieve greater success.

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