Despite various proposals that would have allowed the members of BTS to avoid South Korea’s mandatory military service, it appears that ultimately, ARMY will have to allow their boys to serve in the actual army.

In a statement released on Twitter, the group’s label, Big Hit, announced that all seven members of BTS will enlist in the military, with the first one up being Jin.  He’ll be releasing solo material at the end of this month and will then “initiate the process” of enlistment.  The group’s label said that the rest of BTS — RM, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V and Jungkook —  will then subsequently enlist “based on their own individual plans,” which means they won’t be able to perform with their full lineup until 2025.

“BIG HIT MUSIC has focused to the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that’s now,” the statement said in part. It added, “The members of BTS are honored to serve.”

As Billboard notes, in South Korea, all able-bodied male citizens must spend at least 18 months in the armed forces. The draft usually starts at age 18, but K-Pop entertainers can postpone their service until age 30.  Jin turns 30 in December. The youngest member, Jungkook, is 25.

Over the weekend, BTS performed in the South Korean city of Busan, in their role as ambassadors for that city’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030. The BTS in BUSAN concert was attended by about 50,000 people, with 49 million more watching online. 

Billboard reports that at the concert, J-Hope told fans the group was “in a stage where we need your trust.”
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