Stans of Korean boy band ‘BTS’ aka Bangtan Sonyeondan have much to be thrilled about, as South Korea’s
Parliament passed a bill recently that will allow globally recognized K-Pop artists to postpone their
joining in military service till the age of 30.
At a time when K-Pop sensation ‘BTS’ is on the cusp of making history, the South Korean government has passed a bill that will allow globally recognized K-Pop artists to postpone their military service to age 30 which is 28 for ordinary men. Presently, in South Korea, all able-bodied Korean men aged between 18 to 28 are bound to serve in the military for about two years as part of the country’s guard against its foe North Korea. The bill will have a direct impact on Korean wave leader BTS as the septet’s oldest member Kim Seok-Jin who was nearing enlistment to military service can stay with the band till the age of 30. Jin turned 28 years in December and now he will have two more years to work with the iconic band. Good news for the fans!
Under the revised law, K-Pop entertainers who won government medals to boost and spread South Korea’s cultural influence in the world can apply for deferment of their military service. All ‘BTS’ members meet this requirement with their phenomenal success in the world of K-Pop and were reportedly awarded a medal in 2018 making them perfectly fit in the deferment criterion.
The revision in the law pertaining to the Military Service Act came on the heels of BTS’s unmatchable success with their peppy super duper hit album ‘Dynamite’.The album, since its release in August last year, broke the Internet and smashed several charts. From clinching first in the United States Billboard Hot 100 singles chart to scoring nods at Grammys, Golden Disc, and wins at MTV Europe, People’s Choice awards, the melodies from the album have only amplified the craze for K-Pop. With such brouhaha around ‘Dynamite,’ it’s no wonder why the ‘Princes of Pop’ has been given the provision to defer military service till age 30.
At a time when K-Pop sensation ‘BTS’ is on the cusp of making history, the South Korean government has passed a bill that will allow globally recognized K-Pop artists to postpone their military service to age 30 which is 28 for ordinary men.
When BTS wave swept the world
‘BTS’ who debuted in 2013 rose to stardom in 2016 with the studio album ‘Wings’. Since then, the band did not look back and had a meteoric rise with popular scores like ‘Love Yourself: Answer’, ‘Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)’, ‘Life Goes On’ and the list is endless!
The band’s journey from teenage to adulthood has been profusely transfused into their songs. From exploring the vulnerabilities of teen love in ‘Skool Luv Affair’ to diving into a myriad of temptations and sins in ‘Wings’ to shedding light on generational disparity and calling for rising above the pain in ‘You Never Walk Alone,’ the band’s renditions touch our hearts due to their universal appeal. The band members might fit the mould of chocolaty boys but their creations cannot be taken as some phony lighthearted music. The band picked some hard-hitting issues with a reformist approach to embed them in their creations. From addressing mental health issues in ‘Tomorrow’ to alluding to dark themes like death and evil powers in ‘Blood Sweat and Tears’ and ‘Not Today’, the band’s choice of themes holds a deeper meaning veiled behind their energetic dance moves and jazzy buoyancy.
This universality of themes is the band’s USP that has fetched them a devoted fan base of over 40 million called ARMY. For the unversed Bangtan Sonyeondan translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts and the ARMY’s force has proved that BTS is indeed bulletproof to fame of other celebrities.
The band has earned this dedicated ARMY with its organic and committed bond with the fan base. This they foster with social media lives where they casually mention their daily life happenings and seek fans’ opinions. This makes fans an inalienable part of the BTS universe and quashes the “unreachable” star status of BTS by making them accessible to fans. The band’s efforts in philanthropy are also a reason why fans love to stick around them. From partnering with UNICEF to stop child violence to donating to the Black Lives Matter movement, disaster relief, and educational programs, the band has worn a penchant for philanthropy.
For the unversed Bangtan Sonyeondan translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts and the ARMY’s force has proved that BTS is indeed bulletproof to fame of other celebrities.
BTS: The Soft Power of South Korea
The recent military deferment is a gift owing to the fact that the band is a national treasure. The band exudes the soft power of South Korea that the country asserts through arts and culture. As per September reports citing the government BTS’s latest album ‘Dynamite’ is worth $1.43 billion for the South Korean government. This worth forged by Dynamite’s success is expected to bring in over 8,000 new jobs.
In 2017, studies indicated that one of 13 visitors to South Korea came for BTS-related shows which accelerated tourism for the country. With tremendous global influence and steering growth at home, it’d be worth a watch how the band further draws South Korea on the world’s map, until Jin’s enlistment.