BTS Member Jin May Face Travel Restrictions Next Year Under New South Korean Military Regulations

BTS member Jin may be affected by new government regulations around mandatory military service in South Korea announced Wednesday.

From 2020, celebrities over the age of 27 who have not yet completed compulsory military service will require special permission to carry out overseas promotional work from the head of South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), Soompi reports.

Promotional activities must "help spread Korean culture" around the world, the MCST said.

The new regulation means Jin, who is 27 and who will be required to enlist in the South Korean military for two years of mandatory service by the age of 28, might need approval from the ministry for any overseas promotional activities tied to his work next year.

BTS do not currently have any tour dates announced for 2020. The band completed their Love Yourself world tour in October.

Newsweek has contacted Big Hit Entertainment, BTS' management company, for comment on how the new regulation might affect Jin and BTS.

Earlier this year, Jin said he was willing to serve in the military "when duty calls."

"As a Korean, it's natural and someday, when duty calls, BTS will be ready to respond and do our best," Jin told CBS Sunday Morning back in April.

Also from next year, the MCST said that male celebrities over 25 but under 27 who have not yet enlisted for mandatory military service will no longer need permission to travel abroad for work. They will be able to carry out "short-term overseas travel" without requiring travel permits, as is currently the case.

Last month, the South Korean government announced BTS and other male K-pop stars will still be required to serve in South Korea's military under new regulations that reduced the number of exemptions from mandatory service and enforced stricter rules around eligibility for military service waivers.

Around 45 people are granted a military waiver per year, and currently those who qualify include athletes who earn any medal at the Olympics or a gold medal at the Asian Games, artists who win second place or higher at selected international competitions, and top-ranking artists at any arts competition in South Korea.

But under the new regulations, the government will reduce the number of competitions that qualify for exemptions, while also imposing stricter rules for how athletes are selected to join national teams, which are exempt from military service should they win a game at a qualifying competition.

K-pop BTS Jin Seoul South Korea 2019
Jin of boy band BTS is seen on departure at Gimpo International Airport on November 21, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.