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[SBS Star] Government Cancels Plan to Hold a Public Poll on BTS' Military Exemption

[SBS Star] Government Cancels Plan to Hold a Public Poll on BTS' Military Exemption

JW Yoo

Published 2022.09.02 16:57 View Count
BTS
South Korea's Ministry of National Defense have corrected an earlier comment of their minister, saying that they will hold a public poll on K-pop boy group BTS' military exemption.

During a parliamentary hearing held on August 31, defense minister Lee Jong-sup said he had ordered his ministry to hold a public poll on whether not BTS should be exempted from mandatory military service.

After the poll, he said a conclusion would be made considering its results and other factors, including the national interest.
Defense minister Lee Jong-sup (Yonhap)
However, on September 1, the Ministry of National Defense announced that they decided not to conduct a public poll on BTS' military exemption.

On their official announcement, the ministry emphasized, "The Ministry of National Defense will not arrange a public poll on the matter, nor making decisions on the issue of BTS' military service solely based on the result of the poll."
BTS
Under the current law, all able-bodied Korean men must serve at least 18 months in the military.

Exemptions can be given to Olympic medalists, Asian Games gold medalists, and winners of domestic/international competitions that are recognized by the government.

Theoretically, exemptions could be granted to BTS members simply by adding other competitions to the list; including BTS' Billboard wins.
BTS
Moreover, there are concerns that the majority of young Korean men would find BTS' military exemption unfair.

According to the public survey conducted by KBC and UPI News, 63.9% percent of male respondents in their 20s did not support the idea of granting BTS a special exemption.

BTS' management agency, HYBE, previously stated that the members will answer the call of duty when the time comes, with no specific plans of enlistment have been shared. 

(Credit= Yonhap News Agency, HYBE)

(SBS Star)