As South Korea deferred the military service of K-Pop stars ‘BTS’, let us look at the background of the change and a similar case with an EPL footballer.
Crux of the Matter
Revised Army Service
On 1 December 2020, South Korea revised its conscription laws. Earlier, conscription for men was to be done at the age of 28 if not done before. Now, the limit has extended to 30 for people eligible for deferral.
Conscription is compulsory military service.
The revision has also been called ‘BTS Law’, as it has provided major relief from doing military service to the K-Pop band BTS members. 2 of its members (Jin and Suga) are nearing 28, with Jin’s birthday approaching on 4 December.
BTS members have been eligible for deferral since 2018 when they were rewarded for enhancing South Korean “cultural influence”. However, they are ineligible for the exemption that classical musicians or athletes get, and are required to complete a minimum of 21-month conscription.
Chance For BTS To Make More History
- Their song “Life goes on” became the 1st Korean song to rank 1st on Billboard ‘Hot 100’.
- Recently nominated for Grammy in best Pop Duo/Group Performance category.
- Became the 1st K-Pop group to be nominated for Grammy Award.
For the sake of the fairness, we are not talking about exempting them from their duty, but pop musicians and artists like BTS – their careers can blossom in their 20s. We cannot let military duty block their way at the height of their careersJeon Yong-gi, Member of Democratic Party
Son Heung-Min And Tottenham
Son Heung-Min of South Korea plays as forward for EPL club Tottenham Hotspur. He completed his military service in South Korea in April-May 2020.
He was exempted from 21-month conscription by winning Gold in the 2018 Asian Games with the national team. However, exempted athletes are still required to complete a 3-week service.
Read more about the compulsory military service in South Korea, here.
- Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video was the first YouTube video to reach one billion views, achieving widespread coverage in mainstream media. The music video is often credited for bringing spotlight to K-Pop on a global level.
- A conscientious objector is an individual who refuses to perform military services on the ground of religion or conscience. Zivildienst is alternate military service for such individuals to fulfill their national service in the fields of social work, environmental protection, or public administration. It is practised in Switzerland and Austria.
- Norway introduced female conscription in 2015, making it the first NATO member to have a legally compulsory national service for both men and women.
- The New York Times – New ‘BTS Law’ Is Passed in South Korea. An Army of Fans Rejoices.
- CNN – Tottenham star Son Heung-min completes military training with flying colors
- Forbes – BTS Top The Billboard Hot 100 With ‘Life Goes On,’ Once Again Proving They’re In A League Of Their Own
- WION – South Korea changed its military draft policy. Here’s what it entails
- CIA – MILITARY SERVICE AGE AND OBLIGATION
- The New York Times – As South Korean Athletes Avoid the Draft, Some Ask: Why Not K-Pop Stars?
- BBC – Reality Check: Which countries have military service?