Will BTS Disband After Serving in the Military?

It was recently reported that BTS will not be exempt from military service in South Korea. That means in about a year, the oldest member of the group, Jin, must enlist in one branch of service. However, some fans are pushing for the group to serve at the same time. Will the K-pop group disband after serving in the military? Here’s what we know.

BTS
Kim Seok-jin of BTS | Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

In South Korea, able men within a certain age group are required to join the military

South Korea’s conscription has been in place for several decades, requiring able-bodied men between the ages of 18-28 to participate. There are, however, some exceptions to the service. According to Refinery29, the exception applies, “only [to] Olympic medalists and first place winners at the Asian games, classical musicians who win certain awards, as well as ballet dancers.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, BTS has been denied the exemption. That means that the oldest member, Jin, who turns 27-years-old (internationally) this December, is required to enlist within the next year. Some fans are wondering if BTS will enlist at the same time, meaning that they can make music together sooner.

BTS
BTS | Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Will BTS enlist in the military at the same time?

They’re not just bandmates. Since BTS formed in 2013, they’ve spent months, if not years, together on tour. Together, they became one of the biggest boy bands in the world, racking in millions of streams on Spotify and plays on YouTube. Some fans believe that having the boys perform military service would be a step backward in their careers.

Since the group was denied exemption, the focus of BTS fans shifted. Some members of the BTS ARMY even started a petition to have BTS enlist at the same time, so the septet can reunite as a boy band as soon as possible.

“In the case all the members will be enlisted together and return in two years, it will save their time and career. On the other hand, if BTS members will go separately they are going to lose too much time and popularity that will probably have a very bad impact on the country’s economy, culture, and tourism,” says one Change.org petition, which has over 20,000 signatures.

Will BTS disband after serving in the military?

It’s still unclear when each of the members would enlist in the military. If they’re not enlisting together, some fans are wondering if the group would continue to make music without Jin. Others believe that each member would wait until they turn 28-years-old to enlist. During an interview with CBS, Jin commented on his upcoming military service.

“As a Korean, it’s natural,” Jin said. “And, someday, when duty calls we’ll be ready to respond and do our best.”

Well, there’s good news and bad news. According to their recent contract renewal, BTS will remain under their label Big Hit Entertainment through 2026. That means that even if all the members enlisted in 2020, they would be back on the stage and performing under Big Hit for at least three more years.

Music by BTS, including their recently released album, Map of the Soul: Persona, is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and most major streaming platforms.