BTS Members Won't Enlist In Military This Year Despite Rumors, Bit Hit Entertainment Says

No member of BTS will enlist in the South Korean military this year, according to the group's management group, Big Hit Entertainment. The comment from the label responded directly to rumors that one member of the global K-pop boy band would join the military in the next year.

A representative for Big Hit said in a comment translated to English, "I don't know why this story came up. [BTS member enlistment] is not true this year," according to Entertain.Naver.com.

The conversation comes just days after a debate about whether the K-pop band should be exempt from military service. South Korea has mandatory military service for men between the ages of 18 and 28. Though there are some guidelines that exempt required service, in September it was ruled BTS would not be exempt because of the group members' idol status, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

BTS
V, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Jimin, and J-Hope of the K-Pop Group BTS visit The Empire State Building on May 21, 2019, in New York City. Steven Ferdman/Getty Images for ESB/Getty

BTS's oldest member, Jin, is 27. Those who are not exempt from military service must serve around two years in the military before the age of 28. Those who don't can face punishment, including banned travel overseas.

The claim that one BTS member would be enlisting was made by Ahn Min Seok, assemblyman of the South Korean National Assembly. During the conversation at the National Audit on the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, it appeared the assemblyman equated the idea of one BTS member joining the military as a public act of service.

In a comment translated to English from Korean, he said: "At the level of national election, many people would understand that the number one billboard chart contributed to national good as much as the Olympic gold medal," as reported by Entertain.Naver.com.

The conversation comes just days after a debate on if the K-pop band should be exempt from military service. South Korea has mandatory military service for men between the ages of 18 and 28. Though there are some guidelines that exempt required service, in September, it was ruled BTS would not be exempt because of their idol status, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fans of BTS are rallying together in hopes the group will enlist together. This decision would put their required military service on the same timeline. A change.org petition surfaced six months ago, and had nearly reached its 25,000 signature goal at the time of publishing.

Some BTS fans are ready to see their favorite group members serve, both as an honor to South Korea and seemingly in aim to bring them back to music as soon as possible. Others, however, are hopeful the exemption will be reconsidered, and the members may not need to serve at all. Twitter reactions to the news are varied.

BTS is currently taking a break from music. The group announced a hiatus in August to which their fanbase responded respectfully. All focus seemed to be on the mental and physical health of the performers, who said the break was to allow them to be normal people, not celebrities, for a while.

BTS Members Won't Enlist In Military This Year Despite Rumors, Bit Hit Entertainment Says | Culture