BTS Potentially Won’t Be Active As Full Group In 2020 While Netizens Debate About Their Achievements Being Eligible For Military Exemption
The possibility of BTS not being able to be active as their full seven-member lineup in the year 2020 is likely at the moment, with group members Jin and Suga’s enlistment period approaching in the near future.
South Korea still continues to require all able bodied men to enlist in approximately two years of mandatory military service.
The oldest member, Jin, is currently the most likely member to enlist first as he turns 28 years old in 2020. Suga, who is currently 26, is also another likely candidate who will have to enlist very soon.
And all this has sparked a debate among netizens over whether BTS should be given exemption, citing professional footballer Son Heungmin’s case as an example. Son, who currently plays for Tottenham HotSpurs, has recently been declared exempt from military service after leading South Korea to victory in the Asian Games against Japan.
If you’re wondering what exactly makes someone exempt from military service in South Korea, the most simple way to look at it is this: become an official national athlete, scholar, artist, and etc. and perform exceptionally. So why are some netizens disagreeing with BTS being exempt from their mandatory military service? It can be assumed that it is because BTS isn’t an official national representative of South Korea, despite their great achievements. Celebrities in South Korea are not eligible for having their achievements recognized as a service to their country like national athletes, musicians, and scholars.
One argument against this has been mentioned by a few netizens saying that it is harder to do what BTS have done than say classical pianists appointed by the country winning an international piano competition.
And for most of the fans and netizens who support BTS being eligible for military exemption, their main case to back up their stance is listing the never-ending achievements that the K-Pop boy group has managed to accumulate throughout their career. There is no denying that BTS have done some extraordinary things that no other K-Pop group have been able to do in history, and chances are, there may never be another group like BTS for a very long time within the K-Pop industry.
However, netizens who disagree with BTS being exempt from mandatory military service has stated that the achievements of the boy group were for themselves, their fans, and their agency, not for the country directly.
“National athletes are people who represent their country. BTS are not representatives of South Korea, they are representatives of Big Hit Entertainment, so you cannot compare the two. And another difference is that national athletes are chose by the government and people while idols are chosen by agencies!!!!!”
“Idols aren’t selected by the nation, so why should they be exempt?”
“Celebrities can’t be exempt This whole thing isn’t even worth debating about.”
“Son HeungMin won as a national athlete, so obviously he’s exempt. BTS are singers who won first place on their own, how can you compare the two situation? I wish reporters would stop writing about this useless debate.”
“Wouldn’t it be unfair for PSY then.”
“They’re basically just earning money for themselves, why should the nation give them exemption for that lol”
Many netizens are also currently blaming politician Ha TaeKyung for the whole debate, as he was the first person to suggest the idea. These netizens feel that by mentioning BTS in this manner, it is doing more harm to the idol group than any good for reforming the law. People who may not be aware of the fact that neither BTS nor their fans have ever mentioned military service exemption, might get the wrong idea that the idol group or fans are requested it.
Hopefully, BTS won’t be dragged into South Korea’s messy and crude world of politics any further.