Jin, the oldest member of K-pop supergroup BTS, began his 18-month mandatory military service at a South Korean frontline training camp on Tuesday, as fans gathered near grounds for saying goodbye.
ix other younger members of BTS will be enlisting in the military in the coming years, meaning the world’s biggest boy band will have to take a hiatus, possibly for several years.
Their enlistment has sparked a fierce debate in the country over whether it’s time to revise the country’s military service system to expand exemptions to include popular entertainers. reputation like BTS or not provide such benefits to anyone.
With MPs squabbling in parliament and surveys showing public opinion sharply divided over the exemptions for BTS members, its governing body said in October that all members BTS will be doing their mandatory military service.
Big Hit Music said both the company and the members of BTS “are looking forward to being reunited as a group again sometime around 2025 following their commitment to service”.
Jin, who turned 30 earlier this month, entered a training camp in Yeoncheon, a town near the tense border with North Korea, for five weeks of basic military training with new soldiers. other, the Department of Defense said.
After training in rifle shooting, grenade throwing and marching, he and other conscripts will be assigned to military units around the country.
About 20-30 fans, some holding photos of Jin, and dozens of journalists gathered near the camp.
But Jin didn’t meet them when a car carrying him moved into the training camp without taking him out.
“I want to wait (to) Jin and see him enlist and wish him all the best,” Mandy Lee from Hong Kong said before Jin entered the camp.
“Actually it’s complicated. I want to be sad. I want to congratulate him,” said Angelina from Indonesia. “Mixed feelings. He has to serve (for) his country.” Angelina, like many Indonesians, uses only one name.
A few dozen fans could be considered a small amount compared to Jin’s overwhelming popularity.
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But Jin and his agency had previously asked fans not to visit the website and said that there won’t be any special events involving the male singer, to prevent any problems. Which is caused by overcrowding.
Authorities still mobilized 300 police, soldiers, emergency personnel and others to maintain order and prevent any accidents, according to the military.
Hours before entering the camp, Jin, whose real name is Kim Seok-jin, wrote on the online fan platform Weverse, “It’s time to close the curtain.”
He posted a photo of himself Sunday with a military buzzcut and a message that read: “Ha ha ha. It’s cuter than I thought.”
By law, all healthy South Korean men must serve in the military for 18-21 months under the conscription system set up to deal with threats from North Korea.
Special exemptions for athletes, classical and traditional musicians, ballet and other dancers if they win top prizes in certain competitions and enhance national prestige.
K-pop stars and other entertainers do not enjoy such benefits even if they are famous worldwide and win major international awards.
BTS was founded in 2013 and has countless global supporters calling themselves “Army”.
Its other members are RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, the youngest at 25 years old.
The group expanded its popularity in the West with the 2020 megahit Dynamite, the band’s first all-English song.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/bts-member-jin-begins-military-duty-at-frontline-boot-camp-42215433.html BTS member Jin begins his military service at the frontline training camp